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Principale » Environmentalists say Donald Trump does not have authority to shrink Utah monument

Environmentalists say Donald Trump does not have authority to shrink Utah monument

07 Décembre 2017

Outdoor company Patagonia has sued to block President Donald Trump's cuts to Utah's Bears Ears National Monument.

Former President Bill Clinton hindered plans to build a coal mine when he established Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 1996. Many Utah Republicans and some residents say it closed off too many areas to development - including one of the country's largest known coal reserves - that could have helped pay for schools.

Trump said in Salt Lake City that Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will be reduced by half, from almost 3,000 square miles (7,770 square kilometers) to 1,569 square miles (4,064 square kilometers). He also said that Mr Trump should consider changing the boundaries of the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll Marine National Monuments in the Pacific Ocean.

The question has never been settled in court, but conservation and paleontology groups and Native American tribes launching lawsuits are preparing to argue that Trump doesn't have that authority and his move jeopardizes a wealth of Native American artifacts, dinosaur fossils and rugged spaces.

"I've become an expert in monuments", Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said at the Utah Capitol on Monday.

Patagonia's message included illustrations showing what part of the two monuments will no longer be protected and facts about protected lands, noting that "90 percent of US public lands are open to oil and gas leasing and development; only 10 percent are protected for recreation, conservation and wildlife".

Interior secretary Ryan Zinke has announced recommendations to shrink two more national monuments in the western US - Cascade-Siskiyou in OR and California, and Gold Butte in Nevada.

The federal government controls about two thirds of Utah.

Additional legal challenges were expected from environmental groups and outdoor clothing company Patagonia.

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Trump, he says, "listened to the local people, even though they weren't millions of voters, only 15,000 people in our community".

Democrats and environmentalists accuse Trump and Zinke of engaging in a secretive process aimed at helping industry groups that have donated to Republican political campaigns. He was accompanied on Air Force One by Utah Senators Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, who is contemplating whether to run for re-election next year when he'll turn 84.

Mr Trump, for his part, justified his decision by returning to an old favorite: Washington overreach.

Patagonia has "always viewed public lands as our special interest, " said company spokeswoman Corley Kenna.

Trump said he was reversing federal overreach by drastically cutting the sprawling monuments named by Democratic presidents.

Patagonia vowed to sue the White House and changed its website to address the "illegal move" in a bold declaration that reads, "The President Stole Your Land". And there is no language in the law that grants presidents the power to revoke or reduce them.

Trump signed an executive order in April directing Zinke to review the protections, which Trump is able to upend under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The law also states, however, that presidents should only choose the smallest amount of land possible, NPR reported. Presidents used that authority three times to diminish the size of the Mount Olympus National Monument following its establishment in 1909, according to a Congressional Research Service report.

Zinke has also recommended to Trump that Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou monuments be reduced, though details are unclear.

Zinke also has recommended allowing logging at a newly designated monument in ME and urged more grazing, hunting and fishing at two sites in New Mexico.

Environmentalists say Donald Trump does not have authority to shrink Utah monument