Report Recomments Changes to Three Monuments

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending President Trump alter at least three national monuments and change the way others are managed.

But KHJ News Washington correspondent Matt Kaye reports, it’s not yet clear, if that includes the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, key for American Samoa’s tuna fleet…

The White House has not released Secretary Zinke’sfull report to the president—only a summary–but the Washington Post reports two national monuments in Utah and one in Oregon would be reduced in size,according to multiple individuals briefed.

Other sites, including the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, could see commercial fishing restrictions relaxed…but no one has confirmed that yet,though Zinke mentioned fishing rights in a written statement late Thursday.

Congresswoman Aumua Amata Radewagen expected to speak with Zinke by phone, after spending months pressing for relief for American Samoa’s tuna fleet.

Radewagen made clear to Vice-President Mike Pence last year, the need for then President-elect Donald Trump to rescind President Obama’s executive orders creating and expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Monument…

Play Audio

Zinke says in his statement on the report that the recommendations “provide a much-needed change for local communities, who border and rely on these lands for hunting and fishing,economic development, traditional uses and recreation.”

Zinke heard from stakeholders at marine monuments, that they were being denied access to rich troves of fish, lobsters and crabs. He visited seven monuments, but recommended none be abolished.

The review was triggered when President Trump signed an executive order in April.

Zinke’s report is expected to launch a court battle with environmental groups over the 1906 Antiquities Act that grants a president broad powers to preserve federal lands and waters, but possibly limited powers to reduce or abolish monuments.

The White House would not say when the full report would be released or when President Trump would act on it.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,