Energy

Interior Secretary Says 154,000 Acre Obama-Era Monument Is Here To Stay

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will not recommend any changes to California’s Sand to Snow National Monument in his final report to President Donald Trump on revising monuments designated under the Antiquities Act, according to an Department of Interior (DOI) statement Thursday.

The Interior Department is expected to publish a final report of Zinke’s recommendations to Trump Aug. 24. Trump authorized the national monument review in an April 26 Executive Order.

“Today, I am recommending that no changes be made to the Sand to Snow National Monument and that the Monument is no longer under official Department of the Interior review,” Zinke announced in the press release. “The land of Sand to Snow National Monument is some of the most diverse terrain in the West, and the monument is home to incredible geographic, biologic, and archaeological history of our nation.”

Former President Barack Obama in 2016 designated the Sand to Snow National Monument in a package with two other designations, Mojave Trails National Monument and Castle Mountains National Monument. All three designations together cover about 1.8 million acres of California.

“[The California desert’s] historic and cultural resources tell the stories of armies, travelers, ranchers, and miners, and of the original caretakers of this land,” former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said when the monuments were created. “Today’s designation by the President furthers the longstanding work of public land managers and local communities to ensure these areas will remain preserved and accessible to the public for future generations.”

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