The interior secretary, once a Prius-driving proponent of environmental conservation, recommended shrinking four national monuments on Tuesday.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump officially downsized two of them, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah. Zinke’s final report recommends shrinking two more, Nevada’s Gold Butte and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou, although he did not specify exactly how much land those monuments would lose. Zinke also recommended that Trump reorganize six national and marine sites.
Under Zinke, the Interior has pushed to take advantage of the fossil fuel resources beneath national public lands. National monuments have long enjoyed protected status under the Antiquities Act, passed in 1906 by Zinke’s hero, Theodore Roosevelt. But in a recent call with reporters, Zinke said that the act’s power has