Should Bears Ears Be Smaller?

14 Juin, 2017, 14:19 | Author: Marc Bacque
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"Bears Ears is unquestionably handsome and sacred".

"As a result of the review ..."

Secretary Zinke also announced that the formal comment period for Bears Ears has been extended through July 10, 2017.

"Rather than designating an area encompassing nearly 1.5 million acres as a national monument, it would have been more appropriate to identify and separate the areas that have significant objects to be protected to meet the purposes of the Act, including that the area reserved be limited to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects", Zinke wrote.

Zinke called the Bears Ears area "drop-dead gorgeous country" that merits some protection on Monday in explaining his recommendation, but said the boundaries should be more narrowly focused around key cultural sites.

Commentary: One of our newest national monuments, Bears Ears in Utah, is the latest target of President Trump's administrative efforts to roll back protections for America's public lands. "However, having conducted the review ..."

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Trump and other Republicans have singled out former President Barack Obama's designation of Bears Ears, calling it an unnecessary layer of federal control that hurts local economies by closing the area to new energy development.

In comments filed with the U.S. Interior Department, Mills questions whether the Interior Department has effectively predetermined the outcome of its own inquiry.

"The review shows that rather than designating an area encompassing nearly 1.5 million acres as a national monument, it would have been more appropriate to identify and separate the areas that have significant objects to be protected" the secretary's report reads.

In his report, Zinke suggests that President Trump "revise the existing boundaries" of the monument, which was designated by President Obama after many years of hard work by a diverse coalition of tribal and environmental groups.

"It's illustrative of the very cursory and perfunctory review that Secretary Zinke has done on Bears Ears", he says. But Monday's decision will now lump a final decision on the controversial national monument in with 27 other national monuments, including Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Basin and Range National Monument, as well as a host of Pacific Ocean monuments. The national monument designation is already 30% smaller than the recommendation from the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition.

"I spent a lot of time on the ground in Utah, talking with people and understanding the natural and cultural significance of the area", said Zinke, in a statement. Mike Lee (along with their constituents), on the other hand, met the decision with anger because of how the order would limit the area's land use. Trump signed the executive order in April ordering a DOI review of all national monuments of at least 100,000 acres. "It's a thinly veiled attempt to sell out our public lands and an insult to people across the country who love and care about our great outdoors". "The man charged with protecting public lands just told the public their voices don't count".


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