Zinke Says New Mexico Monuments Won't Shrink

11 in Patten. Some of the land below the mountain is part of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument

Interior secretary says Katahdin monument will create 'healthy forest,' recreation space

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 also advised trimming Gold Butte in Nevada and Cascade Siskiyou in OR, but the president hasn't announced final decision on those monuments.

Zinke said commercial logging is not allowed within the 87,500-acre Katahdin Woods and Waters because it is part of the National Park Service land holdings.

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Zinke is recommending the management plan be inclusive of the local community and what works for them. Trump asked Zinke to review the status of almost 30 national monuments in April.

Zinke also is recommending Trump change management plans for six more monuments, allowing for additional grazing, ranching, fishing, hunting, and other activities, the Examiner reported.

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.

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More than 98 percent of public comments submitted to the Department of the Interior this summer expressed support for maintaining or expanding national monuments, according to the Center for Western Priorities.

Zinke has been silent on the other 11 monuments under review, from Giant Sequoia in California to the Marianas Trench southwest of Guam, but they are presumed to remain intact.

The 20-page document proposes designating the Badger-Two Medicine area as a monument. He said he would request congressional authority to give the tribe co-management. He also recommends adding the home of civil rights hero Medgar Evers in Mississipi.

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