Zinke to Dismantle More National Monuments

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Zinke to Dismantle More National Monuments

WASHINGTON - Secretary Ryan Zinke’s final monument review report recommends significant reductions to Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Gold Butte and Cascade-Siskiyou National Monuments. Further, Zinke proposes management changes to ten additional National Monuments.

The report was created in response to Donald Trump’s executive order demanding a review of all national monuments greater than 100,000 acres created since 1996. It came a day after Trump traveled to Utah to announce he will dismantle Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to open them up to fossil fuel development and other destruction. Trump is shrinking the monuments despite the fact that more than 99 percent of the 2.8 million public comments opposed changing the boundaries.

Friends of the Earth has filed a lawsuit to compel the Department of Interior to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request for documents, communications, meeting notes and/or records and travel expenses as part of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Associate Deputy Secretary James Cason’s review of the national monuments.

Ben Schreiber, Senior Political Strategist at Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement:

Donald Trump and Ryan Zinke want to steal Americans’ lands and give them to Big Oil and other corporate polluters. This illegal land grab is just the latest piece of Trump’s agenda to rob the poor and give to the mega-wealthy It comes less than a week after the Senate passed a tax plan to give that will be a boon to corporate polluters.

Donald Trump has already overseen the largest elimination of protected areas in U.S. history and now he wants to steal even more. Public lands are meant to be protected for the American people, not handed out to political donors. Trump’s unprecedented giveaway is illegal, and Indigenous communities have already vowed to sue over this attack on their sacred lands.

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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