Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that President Trump not eliminate any of the 27 national monuments that have been under review for the past four months, The Associated Press reports. Among the regions under review were Grand-Staircase Escalante and Bear Ears, both in Utah, Politico writes.
Unspecified downsizing may yet occur at certain monuments, Zinke said, but none will be turned over to new owners. Public access for hunting, fishing, and grazing will be maintained or restored depending on the circumstances. "You can protect the monument by keeping public access to traditional uses," said Zinke.
Conservationists had expressed serious concerns about the administration's review, which has never been done in U.S. history, and feared Trump would try to walk back former President Barack Obama's legacy of designations. "This review puts at risk our most precious and valued outdoor areas," the deputy director of the Western Values Project, Jayson O'Neill, had told The Hill.
"I've heard this narrative that somehow the land is going to be sold or transferred," Zinke has said. "That narrative is patently false and shameful. The land was public before and it will be public after."