Gold Butte boundary change could be good — Water agency chief

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Word that U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is proposing to downsize Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada drew condemnation from environmentalist advocates and Democratic elected officials, but a measured cheer from the head of a southern Nevada water district with springs in the area.

This NOAA map shows the US exclusive economic zone boundaries and four marine national monuments.

Established March 25, 2013: The rugged, wide-open plains of the 242,500-acre Rio Grande del Norte National Monument average an elevation of 7,000 feet. To date, the White House has, according to The Post, "refused to release" it to the public.

A memo from Zinke to President Donald Trump recommends an unspecified reduction of Gold Butte monument about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, along with size reductions of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante monuments in Utah and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou monument.

The elimination of vast portions of America's national monuments will deal a major blow to local economies and the multi-billion outdoor recreation economy that America's public lands and waters support.

Zinke's recommendations were revealed in a leaked memo submitted to the White House.

Presidents have the authority to designate national monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906, but there is nothing in the Act that gives presidents the right to rescind them, although several presidents have changed monument boundaries.

"To have a slap-dash report like this be used as justification for reducing the monument boundaries or protections would be insane". The Supreme Court found that Roosevelt had not overstepped. Presidential or congressional action will be required to "implement" the recommendations, and WELC will challenge any adjustment of the monument's boundaries or management emphasis.

Trump would be the first president in history to use the Antiquities Act to significantly scale back national monuments rather than expand them if he decides to take those recommendations from Zinke.

Zinke also recommended that Trump establish three new national monuments. Grand Staircase-Escalante, in southern Utah, includes almost 1.9 million acres in a sweeping vista larger than the state of Delaware.

The documents are the result of a four-month review process looking into almost 20 of the largest national monuments, those over 100,000 acres, and designated as such since 1996.

In 2016, supporters of the Bears Ears were seeking a 1.9 million acre monument.

Trump characterised the monuments created by Obama as an "egregious abuse of power".

The US interior secretary recommends reducing the size of at least four of 27 national monuments, reports say.

The monument expansion has economic impacts on all 18 O&C counties, because regardless of where the trees are cut, the money generated is given out based on the percentage of O&C land that a county has.

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. Threatening to erase 90 percent of the monument, as the state of Utah has requested, sends a clear message to looters who have run rampant over the years that those sites are not worthy of protection. "In regard to grazing, while it is uncommon for proclamations to prohibit grazing outright, restrictions resulting from monument designation activities such as vegetative management can have the indirect result of hindering livestock-grazing uses".

Located in southeast Utah, the Bears Ears region is home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites. You may be missing one of the western U.S.'s most scenic places.

But Daniel Rossman, acting California director for The Wilderness Society and a participant in getting the San Gabriel Mountains monument established almost three years ago by President Barack Obama, said the local monument is not out of the woods. The status provided increased protection for the area's wildlife, as well as for its historic Native American dwellings and petroglyphs.

Environmentalists say reducing restriction, and the size of protected areas, would harm the ecosystems the monuments are meant to protect. Both were set aside for protection by President George W. Bush.

Environmental and conservation groups were quick to criticize the plans, which they have suggested could be illegal. The suit is now on hold until Trump's review is finalised. The report also called for changes in use or boundary modifications of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument. Something that many loggers in the area are hopeful for. Last year the Hawaii fleet had their most profitable year.

The monument is also home to fragile deep sea corals and vulnerable species of marine life, including whales and sea turtles. "Opening them up to fishing is like spending away the principal of their investment account". The monument is just under 114,000 acres. "Now that we finally have achieved that, we want to keep the designation as it is".

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