Utah rancher tells Zinke monument unnecessary

View 19 Items      Amy Joi O'Donoghue Desere

View 19 Items Amy Joi O'Donoghue Desere

After his arrival Sunday in Salt Lake City, Zinke was met by about 500 protesters who chanted, "Save our monuments, stand with Bears Ears".

He said the Bears ears area is public land, and will still be public land if the National Monument designation is eventually erased by the Trump Administration.

"We are concerned and anxious that he's not listening to the tribes", said Cassandra Begay, who serves as the tribal liaison on the board of the Salt Lake City-based Peaceful Advocates for Native Dialogue & Organizing Support.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Zinke flew Monday morning, May 8, 2017, from Salt Lake City to Blanding, Utah, where he took a helicopter tour along with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to see Bears Ears National Monument on lands considered sacred to a coalition of five tribes.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File). Following the official notice in the Federal Registry, people will have 15 days to send comments on Bears Ears national monument and 60 days for all other monuments under review.

"I walk in the world to monetize it", fantasizes President Trump and Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he's a "Teddy Roosevelt Republican" who values national monuments.

Protesters on Sunday urged Zinke to listen to tribal leaders who pushed for the monument and keep the protections for vast, wild spaces.

BLANDING, Utah - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took an aerial tour Monday of one of America's newest and most hotly disputed monuments - one of 27 he's been ordered to review by President Trump to determine if they were properly established.

"Today's action, initiating a formal public comment process finally gives a voice to local communities and states when it comes to Antiquities Act monument designations", Zinke said in a press release. The Upper Missouri River Breaks represent a piece of Montana's public lands as a national monument, and should be left to hold that designation. "And so it becomes about control", Adams said.

"In Blanding, with a population of 3,400 people, two large banners read, "#RescindBearsEars", reflecting the popular sentiment among residents.

Editor's Note: We will update links as the public comment goes live. There was not only extensive public debate but a public hearing in southeastern Utah last summer - and it appears to have made a difference, as the monument granted was 1.35 million acres or about 600,000 acres smaller than the one that many Navajo, Ute and other tribes had sought.

Several monument supporters from the Navajo Nation came to a spot near the airport to watch Zinke arrive.

The order also explicitly targets the new Katahdin Woods and Waters monument in ME by directing Zinke to examine any situations in which a designation was made "without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders".

They offer a counterpoint to Adams, suggesting the monument will help the economy by bringing more visitors who will spend money at hotels and restaurants.

In what it calls a first-ever move, the Department of the Interior says it will accept and consider comments from the public, pro and con, about the size and impact of the monuments, or the effects the Antiquities Act of 1906 (under which the president has the power to declare monuments), has on local communities.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke visits Bears Ears on May 8, 2017. U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is set to start a four-day Utah trip.

The federal government owns about 640 million acres of land nationwide - about 28 percent of the country's total area of 2.27 billion acres.

The Utah Diné Bikéyah tribal coalition said in a statement Tuesday night that Zinke spent too much time with monument opponents and the hour-long meeting was an insufficient "tip of the hat" to local native people.

Zinke, who was shaking another supporter's hand, said: "Be nice". The woman responded that she always is.

Zinke said Monday that it's clear that sacred tribal lands in Bears Ears should be preserved, but openly questioned if a monument is the right way.

Conservation groups contend that the monument review puts in limbo protections on large swaths of land that are home to ancient cliff dwellings, towering Sequoias, deep canyons and ocean habitats where seals, whales and sea turtles roam. Sally Jewell visited the area in July, 2016, six months before President Barack Obama designated the 1.35-million acre national monument.

Trump's order charged Zinke with making recommendations on whether to reduce or eliminate some monuments created since 1996 that include more than 100,000 acres, or suggesting changes to management plans for those sites.

The review also targets five marine monuments in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, including a huge reserve in Hawaii established in 2006 by President George W. Bush and expanded previous year by President Barack Obama.

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