Interior Secretary Wants to Reduce Bears Ears National Monument
Jim Carlton reports: "Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending shrinking the size of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument, in a move that could foreshadow the fate of other protected space under review by the new administration."
Secretary Zinke's recommendations will be sure to add fuel to the fire of "a long-running national debate over the appropriate use of vast public lands," according to Carlton. "Ranchers, miners and loggers have argued that land should be more open to industry and put under local control to help stimulate the economy. Others argue the land should be preserved for wildlife and as open space for future generations." Former President Obama designated Bears Ears a National Monument at the end of his second term, in December 2016. President Trump ordered a review of 26 national monuments, including Bears Ears, early in his new term
"The interior secretary said at a press conference Monday announcing his decision that he believes the monument should only include areas around objects of the most archaeological importance such as ancient cliff dwellings and rock drawings," according to Carlton. "Mr. Zinke is asking that the president handle the actual reduction, and called for a bill that would give the Navajo, the Ute and a coalition of other tribes that have ancestral and cultural ties to the Bears Ears land the same co-management role they had under the existing monument."
[The Wall Street Journal article might be behind a paywall for some readers.]