07/19/2018 - Regulatory Rollback

National Monuments Subject to Modification or Potential Modification

by EELP Staff

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Bears Ears, Utah

Established Dec. 28, 2016.

Dec. 28, 2016 President Obama designates Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah and establishes a tribal commission to assist with management.

June 12, 2017  Interior Secretary Zinke proposes significantly scaling back the Bears Ear monument. Since then, environmental groups have submitted multiple FOIAs regarding the proposed changes.

Dec. 4, 2017 President Trump announces he is reducing Bears Ears National Monument area by 85%. A coalition of sovereign tribes has filed a lawsuit in the D.C. District Court, calling this action unlawful. A second coalition including outdoor retailer Patagonia also sues. Cases: Hopi Tribe v. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-02590 (D.D.C.) and Utah Diné Bikéyah v. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-02605 (D.D.C.).

Jan. 30, 2018 The D.C. District Court consolidates the Bears Ears lawsuits into one case. Hopi Tribe v. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-02590 (D.D.C.). BLM opens a public comment period for development of management plans for areas of Bears Ears through April 11, 2018. It also holds a series of public meetings on the plans.

Feb. 2, 2018 Land that President Trump removes from Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments is opened to new mining claims.

Aug. 15, 2018 BLM releases draft management plans and a draft environmental impact statement for Bears Ears National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the lands now called Kanab-Escalante Planning Area that were part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument before President Trump removed them. A notice of availability is published in the Federal Register on Aug. 17, 2018. The agency accepts comments through Nov. 15, 2018 for the Bears Ears plan.

Oct. 5, 2018 The state of Utah officially moves to join a lawsuit challenging the establishment of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Utah seeks to join the Trump administration in arguing for a reduction in the size of the monuments. Utah cited economic impacts as well as “sovereign interests” in its decision to join the lawsuit.

Jan. 14, 2019 The state of Utah as well as the Utah and American Farm Bureaus joined multiple lawsuits in support of the Trump administration’s decision to shrink the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments.

April 16, 2019 San Juan County, Utah files a motion withdrawing from a suit defending the decision to shrink Bears Ears National Monument.

July 26, 2019 BLM releases the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Bears Ears.

Sept. 30, 2019 The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denies the government’s motion to dismiss Hopi Tribe v. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-02590 (D.D.C.).

Feb. 6, 2020 The Dept. of the Interior releases a new RMP for Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, a Monument Management Plan (MMP) for Bears Ears National Monument, and an RMP for public lands that were previously a part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Kanab-Escalante Planning Area). The plans open up much of the Monuments to grazing, allow for increased logging in both monuments, and permit coal and other mineral mining in areas the Trump administration carved out of the monuments in 2017.

Cascade-Siskiyou, Oregon

Established June 9, 2000. Listed for review under EO 13792.

June 9, 2000 President Clinton designates the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, a 66,000 acre tract of land in southwestern Oregon and northwestern California.

Jan. 12, 2017 President Obama expanded the monument by 48,000 acres.

Aug. 24, 2017 Interior Secretary Zinke proposes scaling back Cascade-Siskiyou, and revising the management plan, specifically mentioning the “impacts on commercial timber production.”

April 2, 2019 A magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the District of Oregon recommends dismissing an industry challenge to Pres. Obama’s 2017 expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The magistrate found that President Obama acted within his authority under the Antiquities Act to expand the monument, and was not precluded from doing so by the O&C Act which also applies to the lands in question.The magistrate’s report and recommendations have been referred to the district judge.

Sep. 5, 2019 the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon adopts the magistrate judge’s April report holding that the President had the legal authority to expand the monument.  Murphy Company v. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-00285-CL (D. Or.).

Nov. 4, 2019 Industry appeals Murphy Company v. Trump to the 9th Circuit. Murphy Company v. Trump, No. 19-35921 (9th Cir.).

Nov. 22, 2019 the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rules that the Presidential Proclamation expanding Cascade Siskiyou National Monument unlawfully violates a 1937 statute that regulates timber harvest on federal land in Western Oregon (the Oregon and California Railroad and Coos Bay Wagon Road Grant Lands Act of 1937). American Forest Resource Council v. Hammond, No. 16-1599 (D.D.C.).

Jan. 24, 2020 The Dept. of the Interior and a coalition of environmental groups file separate notices of appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Both groups seek to overturn a November 2019 ruling saying that the Obama administration’s expansion of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument violated the 1938 O&C Act. Association of O&C Counties v. Donald Trump, No. 20-5011 (D.C. Cir.); American Forest Resource Council v. United States of America, No. 20-5008 (D.C. Cir.).

Gold Butte, Nevada

Established Dec. 28, 2016. Listed for review under EO 13792.

Aug. 24, 2017 Interior Secretary Zinke proposes scaling back Gold Butte and revising its management plan, specifically mentioning grazing permits and leases.

Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah

Established Sep. 18, 1996. Listed for review under EO 13792.

Sep. 18, 1996 President Clinton designates the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. At 1.9 million acres, it’s the country’s largest National Monument.

June 23, 2017 An environmental group submits a FOIA for information on the monument.

Aug. 24, 2017 Interior Secretary Zinke proposes scaling back Grand Staircase-Escalante.

Dec. 4, 2017 President Trump announces he is cutting Grand Staircase-Escalante by almost half. Among others, a coalition of conservation groups files a lawsuit in the D.C. District Court, calling this action unlawful. Wildnerness Society v. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-02587 (D.D.C).

Jan. 30, 2018 The D.C. District Court consolidates the Grand Staircase-Escalante lawsuits into one case. BLM opens a public comment period for development of management plans for areas of Grand Staircase-Escalante through April 13, 2018. It also holds a series of public meetings on the plans.

Feb. 2, 2018 Land that President Trump removed from Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments is opened to new mining claims.

Aug. 15, 2018 BLM releases draft management plans for Bears Ears National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the lands now called Kanab-Escalante Planning Area that were part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument before President Trump removed them. A notice of availability is published in the Federal Register on Aug. 17, 2018. The agency is accepting comments through Nov. 15, 2018 for the Bears Ears plan and through Nov. 30, 2018 for Grand Staircase-Escalante and Kanab-Escalante.

Oct. 5, 2018 The state of Utah officially moves to join a lawsuit challenging the establishment of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Utah seeks to join the Trump administration in arguing for a reduction in the size of the monuments. Utah cited economic impacts as well as “sovereign interests” in its decision to join the lawsuit.

Jan. 14, 2019 The state of Utah as well as the Utah and American Farm Bureaus joins multiple lawsuits in support of the Trump administration’s decision to shrink the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments.

April 17, 2019  Department of Justice files a response to amici briefs reiterating its stance that President Trump is acting within his authority granted under the Antiquities Act to shrink Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Aug. 23, 2019 BLM releases the final environmental impact statement for the reduced Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument in Utah. The proposal includes opening more area to energy development. On Oct. 17, 2019 BLM modifies the final plan to respond to additional public comments regarding cultural resources, livestock grazing, and consideration of alternative RMPs.

Sept. 30, 2019 The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denies the government’s motion to dismiss Wilderness Society v. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-02587 (D.D.C).

Feb. 6, 2020 The Dept. of the Interior releases a new RMP for Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, a Monument Management Plan (MMP) for Bears Ears National Monument, and an RMP for public lands that were previously a part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Kanab-Escalante Planning Area). The plans open up much of the Monuments to grazing, allow for increased logging in both monuments, and permit coal and other mineral mining in areas the Trump administration carved out of the monuments in 2017.

Katahdin Woods and Waters, Maine

Established Aug. 24, 2016. Listed for review to “determine whether the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders.”

Aug. 24, 2017 Interior Secretary Zinke proposes changing Katahdin Woods’ management plan, specifically mentioning “timbering” and snow-mobiling.

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, New Mexico

Established May 21, 2014. Listed for review under EO 13792.

Aug. 24, 2017 Interior Secretary Zinke proposes changing Organ Mountains’ management plan, specifically mentioning the monument’s damage to the “ability for ranchers to run cattle.”

Río Grande del Norte, New Mexico

Established March 25, 2013. Listed for review under EO 13792.

Aug. 24, 2017 — Interior Secretary Zinke proposes changing Rio Grande del Norte’s management plan, specifically mentioning how the monument’s restrictions have “left many grazing permittees choosing not to renew permits.”

 

National Monuments Not Under Consideration for Modification

Basin and Range, Nevada

Established July 10, 2015. Listed for review under EO 13792. Not listed in the final recommendations.

Berryessa Snow Mountain, California

Established July 10, 2015. Listed for review under EO 13792. Not listed in the final recommendations.

Canyons of the Ancients, Colorado

Established June 9, 2000. Listed for review under EO 13792, but removed from review on July 21, 2017 and is no longer under consideration for shrinking or modification.

Carrizo Plain, California

Established March 2, 2012. Listed for review under EO 13792. Not listed in the final recommendations.

Craters of the Moon, Idaho

Established May 2, 1924. Listed for review under EO 13792, but removed from review on July 13, 2017 and is no longer under consideration for shrinking or modification.

Giant Sequoia, California

Established April 15, 2000. Listed for review under EO 13792. Not listed in the final recommendations.

Grand Canyon-Parashant, Arizona

Established Jan. 11, 2000. Listed for review under EO 13792, but removed from review on Aug. 4, 2017 and is no longer under consideration for modification.

Hanford Reach, Washington

Established June 8, 2000. Listed for review under EO 13792, but removed from review on July 13, 2017 and is no longer under consideration for modification.

Ironwood Forest, Arizona

Established June 9, 2000. Listed for review under EO 13792. Not listed in the final recommendations.

Mojave Trails, California

Established Dec. 2, 2016. Listed for review under EO 13792. Not mentioned in the final recommendations.

Sand to Snow, California

Established Feb. 11, 2016. Listed for review under EO 13792, but removed from review on Aug. 16, 2017 and is no longer under consideration for modification.

San Gabriel Mountains, California

Established Oct. 10, 2014. Listed for review under EO 13792. Not listed in the final recommendations.

Sonoran Desert, Arizona

Established Jan. 17, 2001. Listed for review under EO 13792. Not listed in the final recommendations.

Upper River Missouri Breaks, Montana

Established Jan. 17, 2001. Listed for review under EO 13792, but removed from review on Aug. 2, 2017 and is no longer under consideration for modification.

Vermilion Cliffs, Arizona

Established Nov. 9, 2000. Listed for review under EO 13792. Not listed in the final recommendations.