NRCM warns: Lawsuit likely if commercial logging permitted in national monument

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Interior Secretary Endorses Shrinking 6 National Monuments

A leaked copy provided to the Washington Post found that Zinke has recommended boundary adjustments to four land and two water national monuments - including Utah's Bears Ears - while suggesting others be reopened to activities like commercial fishing and timber harvesting.

In a memo to President Donald Trump, Zinke recommended that Gold Butte, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, both in Utah, and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou be trimmed.

In a 19-page "Memorandum for the President" entitled "Executive Summary and Impressions of Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke" bearing the subject line "Final Report Summarizing Findings of the Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act", Zinke lays out recommendations on 10 national monuments out of 27 he claimed to review.

The areas that would be reopened to commercial fishing include Northeast Canyons and Seamounts off the MA coast and both Rose Atoll and the Pacific Remote Islands.

He accused previous presidents of improper "land grabs" in establishing the monuments, singling out President Obama who placed 553 million acres under protection during his presidency - more than any other U.S. president. Harry Reid, tried for years to have it designated as a national conservation area before Obama made it a monument in December. Ultimately, Doña Ana County Commissioners approved a resolution opposing the Trump Administration's efforts to downsize the monument.

"We'd like to see grazing remain and we'd like to see people able to gather wood - Native Americans able to gather wood and herbs for medicinal purposes", Adams said. Cascade-Siskiyou is mostly in southern OR, on national forest and BLM land near Ashland, but about 5,000 acres extends into Siskiyou County, California. Dozens of the nation's most treasured national parks were first protected as monuments, including Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Acadia and Olympic national parks. The monuments in question were established in previous administrations under the Antiquities Act, a 1906 law authorizing presidents to set aside federal lands for protection.

"If we have a small family based logging operation that employs seven individuals, those seven individuals support seven families and the economic impact of that logging company and those seven families is about a million dollars to the local economy every single year", says Dana Doran, Executive Director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine.

Clair, whose family donated the 87,500-acre parcel to the National Park Service a year ago, said he was "still waiting for the details" on the recommendations after language from Zinke's closely guarded recommendations to President Trump were leaked.

But counties that rely on logging revenues according to an old pact have objected to the monument's expansion by President Barack Obama, and a group applauded the reported recommendation. He says members of his industry will fight the proposed changes to marine national monuments and sanctuaries like Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. He said that while every monument is unique, public lands are not for sale.

Lynne, we have the American people on our side - remember, more than 2.8 million people submitted comments during Zinke's "review" of these monuments - but to fight the Trump administration on so many fronts, we need your help now. That would allow logging, or "active timber management", in Katahdin Woods and Waters in ME, and road upgrades and Defense and Homeland Security activities in Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte in New Mexico.

A source briefed by Zinke speaking that day had said Zinke advised Trump to keep Katahdin Woods' boundaries intact, while making "some changes on allowable uses". Several speakers said over a loudspeaker that New Mexicans overwhelmingly support the monuments, which have been an economic boost to the state by attracting visitors.

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