One Montana national monument affected by Trump's executive order

Patrice Gainsbourg
Mai 9, 2017

The president framed the order as a way to return power to states and individuals, after former President Obama and his predecessors blocked development on hundreds of millions of acres of federal land and water by creating monuments.

While discussing the Antiquities Act, Trump said, "The previous administration bypassed the states and placed 265 million acres under federal control..."

"The executive order will direct me as the secretary to review prior monument designations and to suggest legislative changes or modifications to the monuments", Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters at the White House Tuesday evening.

Major sites under review include the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bear Ears National Monument in Utah.The 500,000 hectare Bears Ears site is home to Native Americans, who oppose the review.

"Eliminating or shrinking the 55 national monuments designated during the last 21 years would short-circuit the will of local residents, hunters, anglers, business owners and recreationists who campaigned, in some cases for decades, for these monument designations", the National Wildlife Federation said in a statement.

The President's executive order calls for a review of all national monuments designated since 1996 and larger than 100,000 acres.

But it is the designation of vast swathes of desert and canyons in Utah that have particularly ruffled the Republicans' feathers.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorizes the president to declare federal lands as monuments and restrict how the lands can be used.

Mr. Trump will now decide the fate of monuments created by the three presidents that preceded him.

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"Less than 24 hours after joining with our industry to celebrate the economic power of outdoor recreation, in a hypocritical move, the Trump administration took unprecedented steps that could result in the removal of protections for treasured public lands", said Rose Marcario, chief executive of outdoor gear retailer Patagonia.

"The Interior is the steward of America's public lands".

Trump signed the executive order in a ceremony at the headquarters of the Department of the Interior.

The law in question is called the Antiquities Act.

"Donald Trump's latest executive order furthers his vision for our public lands: a polluted wasteland crammed with oil rigs and strip mines as far as the eye can see, " said Lukas Ross, energy campaigner with Friends of the Earth in an emailed statement.

"I am not going to predispose what the outcome is going to be", Zinke said.

In the crosshairs: the controversial Bears Ears National Monument.

The review is expected to start with Bears Ears national monument, which Zinke will have 45 days to assess, before moving on to other monuments.

Zinke was clear during today's signing that the order would notstrip any monument of a designation and would notremove their environmental or conservation regulation.

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