Debunking Sec. Zinke's Claims on Shrinking Monuments
A comprehensive analysis released today reveals the extent to which the Trump administration has deliberately sought to mislead the public on their plans to strip protections from America’s National Monuments.
One month ago, Trump’s Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, released a report recommending that the president eliminate protections for numerous National Monuments, including the Cascade-Siskiyou. Despite the fact that Zinke’s report is riddled with factual errors and misleading statements, the president followed Zinke’s recommendations last month when he took action to rescind large parts of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah.
Trump’s recent Executive Orders to shrink the Utah Monuments constitute the largest elimination of protected public land in our country’s history, and in the coming days we expect the beloved Cascade-Siskiyou to be added to the mix. An official declaration to eliminate parts of the Monument would open up some of our state’s most vulnerable old-growth forests to aggressive logging.
The new analysis finds that Zinke’s report “ignores the biological basis for establishing and expanding the Monument, and distorts the well-developed scientific foundation upon which the Monument was established and expanded.” The analysis also finds that Zinke’s report “erroneously states that BLM land administered under the ‘O&C’ Act of 1937 may not be managed for protection under the Antiquities Act of 1906.”
One year ago this week, President Obama expanded the Monument based on solid science, extensive public process, and significant public support, including support from Oregon leaders like Gov. Kate Brown Sens. Wyden and Merkley. The Trump administration’s attempt to erase Obama’s chief conservation achievement in Oregon is an affront to science, public opinion, and our nation’s conservation laws.