GOP Leaders Want Trump to Undo National Monuments

They're not happy about designations in Utah, Maine
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 6, 2017 12:07 AM CST
The northernmost boundary of the Bears Ears region along the Colorado River in southeastern Utah.   (Francisco Kjolseth)
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(Newser) – Republican leaders in Maine and Utah are asking President Trump to step into uncharted territory and rescind national monument designations made by his predecessor. The Antiquities Act of 1906 doesn't give the president power to undo a designation, and no president has ever taken such a step. But Trump isn't like other presidents, the AP notes. Former President Obama used his power under the act to permanently preserve more land and water using national monument designations than any other president. The land is generally off limits to timber harvesting, mining and pipelines, and commercial development.

Obama created the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine last summer on 87,500 acres of donated forestland. The expanse includes part of the Penobscot River and stunning views of Mount Katahdin, Maine's tallest mountain. In Utah, the former president created Bears Ears National Monument on 1.3 million acres of land that's sacred to Native Americans and is home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings. Trump's staff is now reviewing those decisions by the Obama administration to determine economic impacts, whether the law was followed, and whether there was appropriate consultation with local officials, the White House says. (Read more Antiquities Act stories.)

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