Interior Secretary To Trump: Don’t Shrink This National Monument

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke finished reviewing Montana’s Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument on Wednesday, and believes that President Donald Trump should leave its boundaries intact, according to a Department of the Interior press release.

The monument is the fourth site for which Zinke has chosen not to recommend changes during his review of 21 national monuments mandated by executive order.

“The review of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument has concluded and I am recommending to the President that no changes be made to the monument​,” Zinke said in the press release. “The monument is one of the only free-flowing areas of the Missouri that remains as Lewis and Clark saw it more than 200 years ago.”

Former President Bill Clinton designated the 377,000 acre monument in 2001.

“Montanans made their voices heard and we want the Missouri River Breaks unchanged for hunters and anglers for generations to come, and for our ag industry to continue to flourish,” Democrat Sen. Jon Tester of Montana said in a press release. “I thank Secretary Zinke for understanding that Montanans have already weighed in on the Breaks and how the land is managed, and I urge him to hold the line to protect Montana jobs.”

However, Montanan rancher Matthew Knox was disappointed in the announcement. Knox grows hay on an area of the monument and wanted the designation reduced to protect his hay leases on federal land, according to The New York Times.

“Monuments are created by executive order,” Knox told TheNYT. “Presidents down the line should be able to review those orders and reconsider them.”

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