If Trump tries to break it, we'll see him in court.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommends reducing a "handful" of monuments in his review of 21 national monuments submitted to the White House Thursday, the Associated Press reports. The large majority of the more than 1.3 million publicly available comments support keeping the national monuments as they are.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Nick Sambides, Jr.at the Bangor Daily News reports that the one-year-old Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument appears to be safe from any "dramatic" changes. In June, he called for an unspecified boundary reduction for the 1.4 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.
An unnamed White House Official (possibly granted anonymity in order to speak truthfully) told CNN "President Trump has received Secretary Zinke's draft report for the Antiquities Act, and is now reviewing his recommendations to determine the best path forward for the American people".
It is likely the president will approve all or most of the report in the next few days, Washington insiders said.
"If we don't do reform of the Antiquities Act, we will have failures in the future", he said. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has said Bears Ears should be "right-sized".
The Interior Department did not release details August 24 about Zinke recommendations on Grand Staircase-Escalante or any changes he may have made to his earlier recommendations on Bears Ears.
"There is no doubt that it is drop-dead gorgeous country and that it merits some degree of protection, but designating a monument that - including state land - encompasses nearly 1.5 million-acres where multiple-use management is hindered or prohibited is not the best use of the land and is not in accordance with the intention of the Antiquities Act", Zinke said in June.
The review found that each monument was unique in terms of the object (s) used for justification, proclamation language, history, management plans, economic impact, and local support.
This week, Arizona Democrat Representative Raul Grijalva blasted the review for suffering "from a almost complete lack of public transparency".
That left people on all sides of the contentious debate clinging to only shreds of information and anxiously waiting for more details.
"Everybody would have a better understanding if they'd just stop the rhetoric and wait for the numbers to be crunched, and see if the monument is a boom or a bust".
Zinke also made the claim that while the use of national parks and monuments as tourist attractions, which contributed to $18.4 billion dollars a year ago to the national economy as 330 million people visited them, can be burdensome for the government.
"National monuments and other public lands and waters play an important role in American society", said Deputy Director Paige Lewis.
Zinke announced parts of his recommendations for the Trump administration in an interview with the Associated Press this morning.
"Generally Conservatives believe in using the land, and Zinke wants that too - from allowing the grazing of cattle to oil exploration", Blue told Xinhua. Hartinger noted that Zinke's phrasing seemed to try to frame the decision "as some generous gift or compromise", when the threat of shrinking protected lands is actually a major blow to conservation.
"What do you think conservative means?" A spokeswoman said a public comment period on that review ended August 15 and no decisions have been made yet.
Tribes, ranchers and conservationists know that none of the national monuments ordered reviewed by President Donald Trump will be eliminated, but the changes in store for the sprawling land and sea areas remain a mystery after the administration kept a list of recommendations under wraps. That power, under the Antiquities Act of 1906, lies exclusively with the Congress.