Zinke: New Mexico national monuments to remain intact

Outdoor retailer Patagonia and the Interior Department continued their public spat over US national monuments on Twitter

An executive order issued by President Trump in April calling for a review and reassessment of USA national monuments named since 1996 will not impact the designation of the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village as the nation's first LGBT national monument.

Significant land management changes were also recommended by the administration that would severely alter the land use in several national monuments.

After a controversial review of federal lands, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said definitively Tuesday that New Mexico's Rio Grande del Norte and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks monuments would not be reduced in size. "We will fight in court any executive action that substantially strips protections from national monuments and we will continue to oppose any legislative attempts to codify those assaults into law or gut the Antiquities Act". He said the designation was in recognition of the 1969 Stonewall riots triggered by a police raid on the bar that historians consider the starting point of the modern LGBT rights movement.

Trump asked Zinke to review the status of almost 30 national monuments in April.

Opponents of the size reductions make no mention of the fact that many parts of the West - including large chunks adjacent to new monuments like Basin and Range, are already designated as Wilderness Areas or Wilderness Study Areas - making them even more off-limits than a national monument.

Since the monument review was announced, millions of comments flooded into the Department of the Interior in support of leaving America's national monuments as they are.

"I think there is a great deal of anxiety about this possibility", he said in May.

Tuesday afternoon Zinke spoke about a healthy management plan for the monument. Instead, it's looking to construct an entirely new facility over the long term and a US team is examining prospective sites in Jerusalem, said the individual, who wasn't authorized to disclose private conversations with USA officials and requested anonymity.

Zinke went on the defense Tuesday afternoon in a special press call, responding to President Trump's signing of new executive orders sharply reducing the set aside for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Southern Utah. Both are located in Utah.

Zinke agreed with VVWD's request for access to its water rights, and in his summary report to President Trump, he recommended that Gold Butte be one of nine national monuments placed under consideration for change.

"There is no explanation in the Proclamation as to why the objects are threatened by well-regulated commercial fishing", Zinke wrote, referring to President Obama's proclamation establishing the 3.14-million-acre nautical monument in 2016.

Environmentalists and some Native Americans are crying foul - hysterically - and claiming that Trump's "unprecedented" actions are to benefit energy and mining companies.

"Stonewall was never on it", she said.

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