Interior Secretary Zinke Releases Mounument Proposal

U.S. Department of the Interior.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has released his report regarding possible changes to several national monuments. Zinke had previously announced no changes to California’s Sand to Snow National Monument, and his report on Thursday stated that none of the national monuments will be eliminated, but that, in Zinke’s statement to the Associated Press, that “a handful” of adjustments would be made to as of now unidentified monuments.

The L.A. Times has details on the California locations that could be affected:

 Such changes could alter forever some of the country’s iconic landscapes. California had more monuments on the review list than any other state. The list included San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, which forms a backdrop to Los Angeles, Mojave Trails National Monument in the Southern California desert, Giant Sequoia National Monument in the southern Sierra Nevada, Carrizo Plain National Monument on the southwestern edge of the San Joaquin Valley and Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in Northern California. …

Over the summer, California Democrats at both the state and federal level defended the designations and vowed to fight any changes.

In a June letter to the Interior Department, California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra vowed “to take any and all legal action necessary” to preserve the California monuments.

The state Legislature passed a resolution urging the Trump administration to retain the protections. And California’s two Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, also asked Zinke to leave California’s monuments alone.

But members of the congressional Western Caucus, including California Republican Reps. Paul CookDoug LaMalfa and Tom McClintock, urged Zinke to completely revoke the Berryessa Snow designation and reduce the size of all the other California monuments except Sand to Snow.