Interior Department won't eliminate national monuments; to recommend changing some: AP

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 24, 2017 11:43 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will not recommend eliminating any national monuments, but will recommend changes to a "handful" of sites, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

After a months-long review, Zinke is due to present a report to President Donald Trump later on Thursday with his recommendations on whether 27 national monuments across the country created by presidents since 1996 should be reduced in size.

In April, Trump ordered Zinke to carry out a review of the sites, arguing that previous administrations "abused" their right by creating massive monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906 and put millions of acres of land, mainly in western states, off limits to drilling, mining, logging, ranching and other activities without adequate input from locals.

Conservation groups and the growing outdoor retail industry have launched public campaigns over the last few weeks to urge Zinke to leave the monuments intact, and have vowed to challenge him in court.

(Reporting By Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Dan Grebler)