Trump orders review of 24 national monuments – including 1 in Colorado

Canyons of the Ancients
Canyons of the Ancients / Mesa Verde Country

CORTEZ, Colo. — A popular Colorado landmark is in jeopardy, along with two dozen other national monuments, as a result of President Donald Trump’s executive order directing his interior secretary to review the designation of dozens of national monuments on federal lands, calling the protection efforts “a massive federal land grab” by previous administrations.

Canyons of the Ancient National Monument in Cortez, Colorado was proclaimed by then president Bill Clinton in 2000.

Under the American Antiquities Act of 1906, either Congress or the President can protect federal lands by designating them as a national monument. Although Congress has occasionally revoked that status for existing monuments, no president ever has – but Trump’s order opens the door to that possibility.

Trump is targeting all or part of monuments that make up 100,000 acres or more, and were created by presidential proclamation since 1996.

A list of all 24 was released Wednesday by the White House:

  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, proclaimed by President Clinton in 1996 (1.7 million acres)
  • Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (1 million acres)
  • Giant Sequoia National Monument in California, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (327,769 acres)
  • Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (279,568 acres)
  • Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (194,450 acres)
  • Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (175,160 acres)
  • Ironwood Forest National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (128,917 acres)
  • Sonoran Desert National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2001 (486,149 acres)
  • Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana, proclaimed by Clinton in 2001 (377,346 acres)
  • Carrizo Plain National Monument in California, proclaimed by Clinton in 2001 (204,107 acres)
  • Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean, proclaimed by President George W. Bush in 2006 and expanded by President Barack Obama in 2016, (89.6 million acres)
  • Marianas Trench Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean, proclaimed by Bush in 2009 (60.9 million acres)
  • Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean, proclaimed by Bush in 2009 and enlarged by Obama in 2014. (55.6 million acres)
  • Rose Atoll Marine National Monument in American Samoa, proclaimed by Bush in 2009 (8.6 million acres)
  • Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico, proclaimed by Obama in 2013. (242,555 acres)
  • Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico, proclaimed by Obama in 2014 (496,330 acres)
  • Basin and Range National Monument in Nevada, proclaimed by Obama in 2015 (703,585 acres)
  • Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2015 (330,780 acres)
  • Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (3.1 million acres)
  • Mojave Trails National Monument in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (1.6 million acres)
  • Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (1.4 million acres)
  • Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (296,937 acres)
  • Sand to Snow National Monument in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (154,000 acres)

One other national monument meets the 100,000-acre threshold but was not included on the list:

  • The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2014 (346,177 acres)

Unlike the other monuments, which are managed by the Interior Department, San Gabriel is managed by the Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The executive order also allows for a review of sites smaller than 100,000 acres “where the Secretary determines that the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders.”

On Wednesday, Senator Michael Bennet released a statement opposing Trump’s Antiquities Act Executive Order:

“This Executive Order initiates an unprecedented attack on existing National Monuments protected by the Antiquities Act, a law that has been used by both Republican and Democratic presidents for over a century,” Bennet said. “The President’s action is an affront to our communities and tribes that have spent years working to protect areas of cultural and historic significance. It is also an infringement on our rural communities, which rely on National Monuments and other public lands to support their outdoor recreation economy. We will continue to defend these designations in Colorado and the more than 150 additional National Monuments around the country.”

What are your thoughts on the executive order? Share with us in the comments below.

USA Today contributed to this report. Click here to view the story on USA Today.

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