The following is an excerpt from Juliet Eilperin and Susan Levine | August 22, 2017 | Thewashingtonpost.com |
Sweeping wilderness vistas. Archaeological relics dating back thousands of years. Undersea worlds of corals, anemones and rare marine species.
Their fate could become clear this week when Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke concludes his review of 27 national monuments from the South Pacific Ocean to off the coast of New England, as directed by an executive order that President Trump signed this spring. The order targeted designations of at least 100,000 acres that were made by former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama under the 1906 Antiquities Act. Zinke later made an exception, also adding a smaller monument in northern Maine.
Trump is no fan of the act, declaring that it “does not give the federal government unlimited power to lock up millions of acres of land and water, and it’s time that we ended this abusive practice.” But Interior’s review has come up against vehement pushback. The department received more than 2.4 million public comments — with an overwhelming majority supporting the current designations, according to an analysis by the Center for Western Priorities.
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