Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

New Mexico national monuments to remain intact

New Mexico national monuments to remain intact

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke confirmed Tuesday that he did not propose altering the size or boundaries of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument but said the land could be managed to promote a "healthy forest" and traditional recreation.

Zinke said Tuesday he also supports cutting the size of Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou monuments. He plans to downsize the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by almost half to 1,569 square miles, divided into three areas.

Zinke is recommending the management plan be inclusive of the local community and what works for them.

But as President Trump stood on the the steps of Utah's state capitol Monday, he made no mention of the proposed national monument at Badger Two-Medicine, nor ten other monuments Zinke suggested changing or creating.

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He held a briefing with reporters Tuesday, a day after President Donald Trump took action to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah.

- Pacific Remote Islands, Pacific Ocean: Allow commercial fishing within the marine monument that covers almost 87,000 square miles (225,330 square kilometers) near Hawaii.

During his travels to visit some of the monuments under review, Zinke said these six monuments would remain untouched: Upper Missouri River Breaks in Montana; Sand to Snow in California; Grand Canyon-Parashant in Arizona; Craters of the Moon in Idaho; Hanford Reach in Washington; and Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado. There is now no timber harvesting on the monument lands other than for maintenance or to maintain scenic views.

The 20-page document proposes designating the Badger-Two Medicine area as a monument. The area is considered sacred by the Blackfeet Nation. Located in Kentucky, it's a Civil War-era Union Army training center for African-American regiments.

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