Saturday, August 26, 2017

Official wants changes to US protected lands

Associated Press (; Xochitl, Ashley Wells, (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
Susie Gelbart walks near petroglyphs at Gold Butte Nat'l Monument near Bunkerville, Nevada. Interior Sec'y Zinke said he's recommending changes to the Trump administration to decide.
BILLINGS, Montana - U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced last Thursday he won't seek to rescind any national monuments carved from the wilderness and oceans by past presidents.

BUT he said he will press for some boundary changes and left open the possibility of allowing drilling, mining, or other [extraction, depletion, and exploitation] industries on the sites.

(August 25, 2017) Twenty-seven monuments were put under review in April by Pres. Trump, who has charged that the millions of acres designated for protection by former Pres. Obama were part of a "massive federal land grab."
If Trump adopts Zinke's recommendations, it could ease some of the worst fears of the president's opponents, who warned that vast public lands and marine areas could be stripped of federal protection.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Zinke said he is recommending changes to a "handful" of sites, including unspecified boundary adjustments, and he suggested some monuments are too large. He would not reveal his recommendations for specific sites but previously said Utah's Bears Ears National Monument needs to be reduced in size.

The White House said only that it received Zinke's recommendations and is reviewing them.

Conservationists and tribal leaders responded with alarm and distrust, demanding the full release of Zinke's recommendations and vowing to challenge attempts to shrink any monuments.

Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, called Zinke's review a pretext for "selling out our public lands and waters" to the oil industry and others. More

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