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Zinke defends monument changes, still supports Badger-Two Medicine protection
06 December 2017, 01:21 | Opal Carroll
US Interior Secretary Urges Size Cuts to More National Monuments
The protest came in light of the National Monument Report, which President Donald Trump asked Zinke to complete.
Zinke's final report recommends boundary revisions to the Cascade- Siskiyou National Monument - which stretches across southern OR and northern California - and the Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada.
The Montana Wilderness Association had a mixed reaction to Zinke's latest statements, saying "while we appreciate Secretary Zinke recommending national monument protection for the Badger-Two Medicine, we find it reprehensible that he's doing so at the same time he's stripping protection from a place that is as sacred to five sovereign southwestern nations as the Badger-Two Medicine is to the Blackfeet".
Zinke declined to specify how many acres he wants to remove from monument status, stressing that the administration is working with Nevada's governor and congressional delegation to find a solution.
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He did not elaborate on how much land should be trimmed.
In his final report to the president, Zinke recommended that timbering should be permitted on the property and that infrastructure upgrades and public access for "traditional uses" like snowmobiling and hunting should be prioritized in a management plan. Trump asked Zinke to review the status of almost 30 national monuments in April.
- Rose Atoll, Pacific Ocean: Allow commercial fishing in the 13,500-square-mile (34,965-square-kilometer) marine monument around the Rose Atoll in American Samoa, a U.S territory.
Zinke said the more than 2.5 million public comments on his review "overwhelmingly" favored the monuments remain unchanged. There is now no timber harvesting on the monument lands other than for maintenance or to maintain scenic views. He also recommends adding the home of civil rights hero Medgar Evers in Mississipi. Located in Kentucky, it's a Civil War-era Union Army training center for African-American regiments.
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