Trump to Sign Executive Order Reviewing Designation of All National Monuments

Andrew Harnik  AP File

Andrew Harnik AP File

In a move that could eventually lead to national monuments losing their designation, President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Wednesday directing the Interior Secretary to review all national monuments designated by his three predecessors over the past 21 years.

The orders could expand oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans and upend public lands protections put in place in Utah, Maine and other states.

Sixteen presidents have cemented their legacies by designating new public lands and national monuments, a power granted to them under the 1906 Antiquities Act.

Trump's executive order asks officials to "review prior monument designations and suggest legislative changes or modifications to the monuments", Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters in a conference call Tuesday evening, adding that such a review was "long overdue".

Gov. Paul LePage says he will testify before Congress next week to urge lawmakers to reverse the designation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine.

For a century, USA presidents have enjoyed unilateral authority under the act, but former President Barack Obama's controversial decision to create Bears Ears National Monument in Utah set the table for a reform movement. The Antiquities Act does not give the president explicit power to undo a designation and no president has ever taken such a step.

Christy Goldfuss, who headed the White House Council on Environmental Quality at the end of Obama's second term, said in an interview that she expects the new administration will have difficulty altering the boundaries of existing monuments. Zinke added large monument designations can hurt jobs and economic activity, especially if local voices are left out of the process.

Trump says Iran violating 'spirit' of nuclear deal
Trump tweeted early Friday, "Another terrorist attack in Paris". "Our condolences from our country to the people of France". Gentiloni said that he hoped the results of Sunday's French presidential election "strengthen European Union prospects".

"It is untested, as you know, whether the president can do that", Zinke said. "The law is clear-only Congress has the authority to erase or modify national monuments, and Congress has wisely used that power sparingly over the last hundred years", CWP said in a statement.

But experts and supporters of the national monument law say Trump can't rescind designations because the Antiquities Act doesn't explicitly provide for that.

Kristina Waggoner, vice president of the Boulder-Escalante Chamber of Commerce in Utah, said business near the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument in southern Utah are booming, driven by sharp increases in tourism since the area was designated in 1996 by President Bill Clinton.

"Show me the money", said Ashley Korenblat from Public Land Solutions.

Conservation groups have condemned the impending executive order as an attack on US public lands.

Spoiler alert: the review is likely to find that many monuments should be eliminated or shrunk dramatically.

Lands such as the Grand Staircase, Organ Mountains, and Bears Ears are among the most spectacular and are cherished by millions. Donald Trump, Jr. has also said he is in favor of "refunding" federal lands to keep them out of private control. Dozens of the nation's most treasured national parks were first protected as monuments, including Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Acadia and Olympic national parks.

Recommended News

  • Donald Trump signs executive order to reform H-1B visas

    Donald Trump signs executive order to reform H-1B visas

    Trump announced the order and made remarks at a visit to the headquarters of Snap-On Inc, a tool maker in Wisconsin. The staffing companies then sell their services to corporate clients who use them to outsource tech work.
    Cool and cloudy start to your weekend

    Cool and cloudy start to your weekend

    Rain amounts will be less than a tenth of an inch and the showers should mostly clear out by Friday morning. After starting the day in the mid 50s, the temperature should push 80 degrees by Thursday afternoon.
    Back to basics for the Call of Duty series

    Back to basics for the Call of Duty series

    Secondly, it appears as though a "private beta" (obviously a play on words) is planned for anyone that pre-orders the game. Call of Duty is going back to World War 2 if some leaked pictures are to be believed, take a look at see what you think.
  • Nene's 28 lead Rockets past Thunder for 3-1 series lead

    Russell Westbrook's season has been dogged by questions about what impact his ball-dominant play has on the rest of his team. Nene doesn't go to Houston if Andrew Bogut opts to be traded to Rockets instead of Mavs when Warriors gave him a choice.
    Qatar Airways chief accuses U.S.  carriers of 'bullying'

    Qatar Airways chief accuses U.S. carriers of 'bullying'

    It already has flights to Orlando in Florida and now Qatar Airlines will fly to Doha, Qatar's capital, from 2018. Qatar Airways has said it plans to operate a domestic Indian carrier with around 100 jets.

    Pedroia still ailing, Farrell complaining over Machado slide

    Joe Kelly came on and gave up a first-pitch double to Machado on a hanging breaking ball that was drilled to center. Chris Davis doubled and Mancini and Schoop homered before Adam Jones chased Wright with an RBI single.
  • North Korea tensions: USS Michigan submarine to enter South Korean port

    The aircraft carrier is being escorted by American warships - they're expected to arrive in the region within days. The White House said only that they 'addressed a range of regional and global issues of mutual concern'.
    Could diet soda and artificial sweeteners cause dementia and strokes?

    Could diet soda and artificial sweeteners cause dementia and strokes?

    Beverages like sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit juice and fruit drinks showed no connection to the aforementioned health risks. That study also found participants who drank at least one diet soda per day were more likely to have smaller brain volume.

    NYC Mayor Challenges Trump, Sessions On Crime

    It's an odd statement, considering the DOJ is threatening to take away the department's grant money to make a political point. According to the NYPD, overall crime within the city has decreased 76 percent since 1993.
  • Have You Heard? Elon Musk Wears Amber's Cheeky Lipstick Kiss

    Have You Heard? Elon Musk Wears Amber's Cheeky Lipstick Kiss

    In fact, the two were seen kissing, holding hands and spending time together during their first public appearances as a couple. Now that Heard and Musk are officially the couple of the summer, perhaps a cute couple nickname will be bestowed upon them.
    Watch Barack Obama's Phone Call With France's Emmanuel Macron

    Watch Barack Obama's Phone Call With France's Emmanuel Macron

    The former economy minister, at 39 years old, is very young for France's staid political scene. A victory for Macron would be a vote of confidence in France staying in the EU.

    Apple wants to end reliance on mining "one day"

    It then checks out where the company can cut down the use concerning the effect on the environment. We hope Apple will manage to do exactly what it plans to do and thus save a piece of our planet.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.