Washington, D.C.- Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended that President Trump reduce the size of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. That’s according to a report in the Washington Post, which cites several sources briefed on the decision.
According to the report, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is one of at least three on a list Zinke believes should be altered. The other two are reportedly in Utah.
The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument was established by President Clinton shortly before he left office. It now covers more than 113,000 acres after it was expanded by President Obama to include more land in southern Oregon and northern California.
President Trump had ordered Zinke to examine more than two dozen sites established by previous presidents under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The Interior Department did not give specifics on Zinke’s recommendations, instead releasing a report summary that described each of the 27 protected areas.
The Washington Post report also reveals Zinke’s recommendations call for changing the management rules for several sites, such as allowing fishing in marine monuments where it is currently prohibited.
“No President should use the authority under the Antiquities Act to restrict public access, prevent hunting and fishing, burden private land, or eliminate traditional land uses, unless such action is needed to protect the object,” Zinke said in a statement. “The recommendations I sent to the president on national monuments will maintain federal ownership of all federal land and protect the land under federal environmental regulations, and also provide a much needed change for the local communities who border and rely on these lands for hunting and fishing, economic development, traditional uses, and recreation.”
A White House official confirmed to the Washington Post Trump had received the report but would not say when it would be released or if the president would act on Zinke’s recommendations.
Zinke did not recommend abolishing any monuments.
Environmental groups have made clear that they would file legal challenges in an effort to preserve these sites’ existing boundaries and protections.