Reports indicate that the Trump Administration is likely to attempt removal of USDA Forest Service land in Utah National Monument despite USDA not recommending acres for removal
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources, and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry, today raised concerns to President Donald Trump regarding reports that his administration will significantly reduce the size of several National Monuments containing U.S. Forest Service land, despite not having a specific recommendation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to do so.
In April, President Trump signed an Executive Order requiring Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, in coordination with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and others, to review 27 National Monuments that were designated by previous presidents. Based on information provided to the Senate Agriculture Committee by a USDA official, "No specific acres were recommended for removal." Despite this lack of recommendation, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration plans to significantly shrink the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, which contains 289,000 acres of Forest Service land. In addition to Bears Ears, there are four National Monuments under review in California containing Forest Service land, which could be subject to cuts.
Due to the unprecedented nature of this National Monument review, Bennet and Stabenow wrote to President Trump to ask how he plans to proceed with monuments containing Forest Service land in light of USDA's submissions to the review.
A copy of the letter is available HERE.