Political Leaders React to Leaked Monuments Memo

Sep 20, 2017

A draft memo from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to President Trump on national monuments is drawing scrutiny from political leaders after it surfaced Monday. The document recommends downsizing several monuments, including Bears Ears in Southeast Utah, and increasing natural resource extraction, grazing, and logging on monument land. At a committee hearing Wednesday, New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich pointed out various factual errors in the review of two monuments in his state. A top Bureau of Land Management official admitted the agency had not been consulted to fact-check the Interior Department report before it was shared with the White House.

Utah lawmakers have said little about the leaked document, and have been much less critical about the review. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah’s delegation recommends shrinking the Bears Ears as much as 90 percent. It is unclear whether the President will act on Utah’s proposal, but Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said Utah’s proposal  “demonstrates their failure to listen to the concerns of our people who have lobbied and fought for over 80 years for this designation.”