U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced Wednesday that no changes will be made to the Sand to Snow National Monument, which was under review following President Donald Trump’s executive order calling for a review of all monuments over 100,000 acres.
The 154,000-acre monument located in the San Gorgonio wilderness area of the San Bernardino National Forest — and stretching into the Coachella Valley — was among more than 20 monuments facing potential changes. Trump’s April executive order called for the review of monuments designated under the Antiquities Act of 1906, which grants the president authority to declare federal lands of historic or scientific value as national monuments.
Zinke announced Wednesday that he will recommend that no changes be made to the Sand to Snow National Monument, which is no longer under review by the Department of the Interior.
“The land of Sand to Snow National Monument is some of the most diverse terrain in the West, and the monument is home to incredible geographic, biologic and archaeological history of our nation,” Zinke said.
Former President Barack Obama granted monument status to the Sand to Snow area last year.
Trump said his executive order would “end another egregious abuse of federal power” and “give that power back to the states and to the people, where it belongs.”
He also said the Antiquities Act “unilaterally put millions of acres of land and water under strict federal control … eliminating the ability of the people who actually live in those states to decide how best to use that land.”
Final recommendations on several other monuments still under review are set to be completed by next week.
–City News Service
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