Former Interior Secretary Babbitt: Zinke Recommendations 'Political Gift To Oil, Gas, Coal Industries'

Published: Friday, August 25, 2017 - 3:40pm
Updated: Friday, August 25, 2017 - 3:47pm

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has made his recommendations to President Trump on potential changes to national monuments. He’s not proposing to eliminate any of them but does want to reduce the size of some.

In April, the president ordered Zinke to review monuments that are bigger than 100,000 acres, and which were created since 1996.

So far, we don’t know exactly which of the monuments Zinke is recommending to downsize; we do know that a few that were on the original list to review will not be changed, including Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona.

With me to talk about the recommendations is Randi Spivak, Public Lands program director at the Center for Biological Diversity, which has been critical of this process.

In Zinke's report summary, he writes, “The responsibility of protecting America's public lands and unique antiquities should not be taken lightly; nor should the authority and the power granted to a President under the Act,” referring to the Antiquities Act.

He goes on to say, “No President should use the authority under the 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.”

My next guest was a part of the process of designating national monuments; former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt served as Interior secretary under President Bill Clinton.

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