Report: Interior Department Wants to Downsize, Change Seven National Monuments

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has reportedly recommended downsizing or changing seven geographic national monuments he reviewed at President Trump’s request, in a move likely to anger environmental groups. The recommendations, featured in a report sent to the White House and seen by The Wall Street Journal, call for reducing the boundaries of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante preserves in Utah. Zinke has also recommended allowing commercial fishing in hundreds of thousands of square miles of ocean waters that are currently protected against such activities, according to the report. Ranching and logging would also be allowed in areas where such activities are prohibited. The Interior Department’s report was sent to Trump in August but no details were disclosed at that time about which lands in particular might be affected. Seventeen other national monuments included in the review were spared from such proposed changes.