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.
Zinke will not advise rescinding any national monument completely, easing some fears that President Donald Trump would open large swaths of land to energy development.
No specific national monuments or changes were named, but Zinke’s recommendations will keep and restore activities such as hunting and fishing on parts of public land, according to the Associated Press.
The report’s submission signifies the end of a 120-day review of national monuments designated in the past four decades under the Antiquities Act.
“The Department of the Interior is the steward of America’s greatest treasures and the manager of one-fifth of our land. Part of being a good steward is being a good neighbor and listening to the American people who we represent,” Zinke said in a statement announcing the beginning of the review. “Today’s action, initiating a formal public comment process finally gives a voice to local communities and states when it comes to Antiquities Act monument designations. There is no pre-determined outcome on any monument.”
The national monument review represents a return to the rule of law, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop told reporters on a conference call Thursday.
“Congress never intended one individual be given the power to unilaterally dictate land management policies for enormous swaths of public land,” Bishop said. “This is about the rule of law, whether we as a country adhere to the clear language and intent of the law or whether we allow the executive branch to simply make up the rules as it goes along.”
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