While President Trump has already announced that he’ll be downsizing Bear ears by 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante by almost 50%, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke doesn’t think that enough. On Tuesday, he called on the Trump to shrink four national monuments, and change the management of six other land and marine sites—a drastic change to how protected areas are cared for.
Aside from the Utah sites, Zinke wants to cut Nevada’s Gold Butte and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou. Although, given Trump’s obsession with gold coupled with his 10-year-old level maturity, Gold Butte is probably safe for now.
Also at risk is Northeast Canyons and Seamounts in the Atlantic Ocean; both Rose Atoll and the Pacific Remote Islands in the Pacific Ocean; New Mexico’s Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande Del Norte, and Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters.
“The Antiquities Act over time has done great things for our country, and it has protected some of our greatest treasures,” Zinke said in a call with reporters, then claimed that its power had been “abused” because the monument designations extended beyond the objects they protected. He also believes that some objects are too undefined, such as “Stars, biological diversity, remoteness, emptiness.”
In other words, nature.
Trump’s administration is already facing multiple lawsuits over Trump’s decision Monday to decimate Bear Ears, a sacred tribal site. Bear Ears was designated last year by Barack Obama, making it yet another part of Obama’s legacy Trump is trying to erase—this time literally. And Grand Staircase-Escalante, a reservoir of prehistoric fossils, was established by Bill Clinton in 1996. Definitely nothing personal there either.
Read more at the Washington Post.