A press release from Washington’s US Senators late yesterday afternoon said that after speaking with the Secretary of the Interior, Hanford Reach is now “off the table” in the Trump Administration’s review of recently designated national monuments.
What’s more, Patty Murray said the outcry showed the Trump Administration that Evergreen State residents and others were “ready to fight back against ill-conceived efforts to roll back protections for our prized public lands,” while Maria Cantwell termed the reviews a waste of taxpayer dollars and that the president “does not have the authority to rescind the lawful status of our protected national monuments in the first place.”
Both are Democrats.
The review of 27 national monuments of more than 100,000 acres and created since 1996 is being led by Ryan Zinke, a former Montanan Republican US Representative.
Public comment wrapped up earlier this week. More than 1.2 million were received.
While 17 members of Congress’s Western Caucus supported completely rescinding the borders of Oregon’s Cascade Siskiyou National Monument among others in a June 30 letter to Zinke, they also recognized the natural and historical value of the Hanford Reach and recommended only prodding USFWS to improve access to the 194,000-acre set-aside, including opening up the top of 3,500-foot Rattlesnake Mountain.
“Now that Secretary Zinke agrees that the protection for the Hanford Reach National Monument should not be changed, the Trump Administration should abandon this review and the ill-advised effort to undermine national monuments altogether. An attack on one of our national monuments is an attack on all of them,” Senator Cantwell urged.