Trump rails against the environment again
The new executive order signed by President Donald Trump could lead to the lifting of protection to federal territories.
Today President Trump has ordered the revision of the national monuments created during the last 20 years, with the firm intention of rescinding or reducing some of them, especially the areas that would allow drilling, mining and other developments, according to a report by Reuters.
The order instructs Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke to review land classified as national monument for evaluation in terms of economic development, as promised during Trump’s political campaign.
Part of the structure inherited from the Obama Administration included the Antiquities Act, which described federal lands as national monuments. The act includes statutes of protection, such as prohibition of logging, mining and drilling.
Zinke assured that his mission would consist of the revision of more than 30 national monuments, to later recommend the remodeling or the intervention of some of them. He also said he will rely on the advice of Congress, local governments and people involved at the local level.
"The President considers, like me, that many of the neighbors in the western states of the federal government can be good neighbors. We can protect culturally and economically important areas, and they can use federal lands for economic development when appropriate”, said Zinke in a news conference on Tuesday.
The monuments that will be reviewed could include from the Grand Staircase in Utah, the Castle Mountains in California, the Gold Butte in Nevada and the northern edge of the Grand Canyon, according to The Independent.
This could dismantle several protectionist measures since President Bill Clinton's administration in 1996 and executive orders implemented during the Obama administration, such as the one protecting the monuments of Bears Ears, which sought to protect "the cultural legacy of the Navajo."
Zinke argued that while areas could attract tourism, federal lands could have "multiple uses."
Conservation groups and representatives of Native tribes have criticized the order and said they would fight it in court.