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President Trump seeking comments on monuments

KANAB, Utah – On May 9, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke wrapped-up day three of a four-day listening tour regarding Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, both of which are under review under President Trump's Executive Order 13792, issued April 26, 2017.

The day kicked-off with a morning listening session and hike with the Nature Conservancy and the Redd family at the historic Dugout Ranch, the largest private landowners inside Bears Ears National Monument. After making slight schedule adjustments due to weather, the Secretary joined local ranchers for a three-hour afternoon horseback ride through rain, snow, sleet and hail.

"I'm an optimist," Zinke said. "After being on the ground for a few days and talking to people on all sides I think everyone has a lot more in common than previously thought. Everyone wants to preserve the important areas, the question is what vehicle of land management. I've got another day on the ground to listen and learn but we encourage especially those directly impacted to submit their recommendations on regulations.gov starting on Friday."

Friday opens the formal public comment period for the review of the monuments.

“After being on the ground for a few days and talking to people on all sides I think everyone has a lot more in common than previously thought. Everyone wants to preserve the important areas, the question is what vehicle of land management.” Ryan Zinke, secretary of the Interior

A public comment period is not required for monument designations under the Antiquities Act; however, Secretary Zinke and President Trump both strongly believe that local input is a critical component of federal land management.

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Comments may be submitted online after May 12 at http://www.regulations.gov by entering "DOI-2017-0002" in the Search bar and clicking "Search," or by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.

Written comments relating to Bears Ears National Monument must be submitted within 15 days of publication of that notice. Written comments relating to all other designations subject to Executive Order 13792 must be submitted within 60 days of that date.

Executive Order 13792 of April 26, 2017 (82 FR 20429, May 1, 2017), directs the Secretary of the Interior to review certain National Monuments designated or expanded under the Antiquities Act of 1906, 54 U.S.C. 320301-320303 (Act). Specifically, Section 2 of the Executive Order directs the Secretary to conduct a review of all Presidential designations or expansions of designations under the Antiquities Act made since January 1, 1996, where the designation covers more than 100,000 acres, where the designation after expansion covers more than 100,000 acres, or where the Secretary determines that the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders, to determine whether each designation or expansion conforms to the policy set forth in section 1 of the order. Among other provisions, Section 1 states that designations should reflect the Act's "requirements and original objectives" and "appropriately balance the protection of landmarks, structures, and objects against the appropriate use of Federal lands and the effects on surrounding lands and communities." 82 FR 20429 (May 1, 2017).

In making the requisite determinations, the Secretary is directed to consider:

(i) the requirements and original objectives of the Act, including the Act's requirement that reservations of land not exceed "the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected";

(ii) whether designated lands are appropriately classified under the Act as "historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest";

(iii) the effects of a designation on the available uses of designated Federal lands, including consideration of the multiple-use policy of section 102(a)(7) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (43 U.S.C. 1701(a)(7)), as well as the effects on the available uses of Federal lands beyond the monument boundaries;

(iv) the effects of a designation on the use and enjoyment of non-Federal lands within or beyond monument boundaries;

(v) concerns of State, tribal, and local governments affected by a designation, including the economic development and fiscal condition of affected States, tribes, and localities;

(vi) the availability of Federal resources to properly manage designated areas; and

(vii) such other factors as the Secretary deems appropriate.

82 FR 20429-20430 (May 1, 2017).

–Department of the Interior