Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke gave the White House his final recommendations on national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act Thursday.
Zinke recommends rolling back designations on a “handful” of monuments. If President Donald Trump follows Zinke’s advice, environmental groups plan on challenging the Executive’s authority to shrink the boundaries of national monuments in court.
“Zinke’s sham review was rigged from the beginning to open up more public lands to fossil fuel, mining and timber industries,” Center for Biological Diversity public lands director Randi Spivak said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “He and Trump will not be allowed to rob Americans of their public lands. They’re asking for a court battle and they’ll get one.”
GOP Rep. and Natural Resources Committee chairman Rob Bishop questioned the motivations of environmental groups litigating the president’s power to roll back monuments.
“We seem to be living in an age where litigation is the obvious norm even though it becomes counterproductive,” Bishop said in a press call with reporters. “I think there are some groups out there that actually, I think, make a nice income for their interest group by doing litigation.”
Zinke’s final report marks the end of a 120-day review of national monuments of more than 100,000 acres and designated since 1996. The review was launched under an Executive Order from Mr. Trump.
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