President Trump signed an executive order yesterday to investigate whether one president can overturn a previous president’s creation of national monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the Interior Department’s review of all national monuments over 100,000 acres created since 1996 could threaten 10 of California’s national monuments, including three created in our Mojave Desert last year…
The executive order directs U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review the creation of all national monuments since 1996; the review could result in the downsizing—or even the elimination of—three nearby national monuments: Sand to Snow, Castle Mountain, and Mojave Trails.
Danielle Segura with the Mojave Desert Land Trust said the executive order threatens the health and well-being of the Mojave Desert and surrounding communities, and the land trust will do all it can to protect the monuments.
“And here at the Mojave Desert Land Trust, we fought hard to protect these desert lands, and we’re prepared to fight against any latest attacks on them. These are public lands and they benefit our local community.”
Segura says any such moves to downsize or eliminate national monuments would be unpopular.
“I think the American people value deeply their public lands. I mean, it’s really such a part of who we are as people, and our spirit. And I think that this executive order, this initial inquiry, is against who we are as a country.”
The other California national monuments include Sequoia National Forest, the California Coastal National Monument, and parks at Carrizo Plain, Fort Ord, San Gabriel Mountains and Berryessa Snow, as well as a Central Valley national monument honoring farm-workers’ rights activist Cesar Chavez.
President Obama set aside more land than any other chief executive, a move that led some conservative lawmakers to claim executive overreach. The 21-year-time frame of the executive order includes the designation of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 1996 by President Clinton and Obama’s designation of Bears Ears National Monument in 2016. Both monuments are in Utah, and Utah legislators were opposed to the designation. When Trump signed his executive order directing the review, he called Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act an “egregious use of power.”


  • jack

    We need the national monument status maintained so that the public will continue having access. Closing the areas to commercial uses makes public use that much better. People get confused and think that monument status somehow denies them access. A right-wing alternative fact! Trump should find a way to get $$ from Nestle for the massive public water give away they’ve had for way too long!!

  • oc4boxer

    There is a report online from November published by the Congressional Research Service concluded the Antiquities Act does not authorize the President to undo a proclamation of a national monument, but they can reduce the size of them if they demonstrate the acreage to be removed does not meet the standards of the act.

    Congress is the only entity that can do away with a national monument entirely.

  • Dust Devil

    100 days on and I still can’t believe this incompetent imbecile is our president.

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