WATCH LIVE: President Trump Signs Executive Order to Reduce Federally Protected Land
President Donald Trump will sign another executive order today, this one calling for a review of protected federal lands that are legally designated as “national monuments.”
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke outlined the order with reporters at the White House last night, saying the review will apply to dozens of national monument designations of 100,000 acres or more that have been put in place since 1996. The order is expected to raise questions about whether presidents can upend the protections a predecessor has placed on lands that were meant to be exempt from public development.
“The executive order will direct me as the secretary to review prior monument designations and to suggest legislative changes or modifications to the monuments,” Zinke said. “The executive order does not strip any monument of a designation. The executive order does not loosen any environmental or conservation regulation on any land or marine areas.”
Trump’s order has been connected to Utah Republicans who have been lobbying him to do something about several national monument designations Barack Obama put in place before he left office. The Bears Ears National Monument, a large stretch of land with religious and archaeological importance to Native Americans, has been one of the most contested lands that Obama assigned for federal protection.
Conservation groups are concerned about the order, USA Today noting that a loss of protection might endanger the ecosystems and natural beauty for hundreds of acres of land.
Watch above, via NBC.
[Image via screengrab]
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