Republic: National monuments under review

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Arizona Republic reported that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will recommend shrinking, eliminating or leaving in place 21 national monuments, including three in Arizona.

President Donald Trump ordered the review of 27 national monuments in April, all of them established by previous presidents.

The review drew more than 2.7 million public comments, which overwhelmingly supported the monuments, according to an analysis by the Center for Western Priorities.

Zinke has already decided to let six monuments stand, including one of four under review in Arizona. On Aug. 4, the secretary recommended the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in northern Arizona remain untouched.

Three others in the state — Vermilion Cliffs, Sonoran Desert and Ironwood Forest — await a final decision.

A host of conservationists, Indian tribes, businesses and state attorneys general say they are prepared to take swift legal action if Trump follows any recommendation to abolish or shrink monuments.

In a recent poll of potential Arizona voters for the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and The Arizona Republic, a wide majority, 97 percent, agreed that “Arizona’s parks, preserves, forests and open spaces are important."

The poll, conducted by Arizona State University's Morrison Institute for Public Policy, also found that 68 percent of those surveyed agreed that “protecting the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of slowing economic growth.”

READ: Fate of 3 national monuments in Arizona hangs on final rulings by Trump administration