Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has completed his President Trump-ordered review of 27 national monuments declared by Trump's three predecessors—and while he hasn't recommended abolishing any of them, he tells the AP he has proposed shrinking a "handful" of them. Insiders tell the New York Times that Zinke's report recommends Trump shrink at least four monuments, including the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Ranchers, loggers, fishing groups, and others opposed to the designations welcomed the proposals in a summary of the report released Thursday, though details of what monuments might be affected are being kept under wraps for now.
Tribal groups and environmentalists have vowed to fight attempts to shrink the monuments, the Washington Post reports. It will be the first time such a move has been contested in court, and experts say the legal battles are likely to be the toughest test the Antiquities Act has faced in its 111-year history. Democrats have spoken out against the proposals, which are supported by many Republicans in Western states. Utah state Rep. Mike Noel says shrinking Bears Ears will be "a victory for our state" against federal attempts to restrict grazing, drilling, and mining. "When you turn the management over to the tree-huggers, the bird and bunny lovers, and the rock lickers, you turn your heritage over," he says.