President Trump signs order to review national monuments
April 26, 2017
On Wednesday, 4/26/217, President Trump signed an Executive Order on national monuments, calling on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review all national monuments over 100,000 acres created since 1996.That was the year President Clinton signed an Executive Order that created the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, a controversial move that shut down a proposed mining operation.
Former President Obama used the Antiquities Act prior to leaving office to create the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah, setting aside1,351,849 acres (2,112 sq. miles) despite the objections of Utah's governor and legislators. Obama used the Antiquities Act to lock up over 550 million acres of land and water during his eight years in office.
Trump asked Zinke to review the monuments and recommend changes, which could include changing the size of the designation or changing the Antiquities Act itself through Congress.
“Today I’m signing an Executive Order to end another egregious abuse of federal power and to give that power back to the states and to the people, where it belongs,” Trump said before signing the document at the Interior Department. “The previous administration used a 100-year-old law known as the Antiquities Act to unilaterally put millions of acres of land and water under strict federal control. Today, we are putting the states back in charge. It’s a big thing.".