The president should ignore Ryan Zinke’s recommendations and revoke illegally designated or expanded national monuments.
by William Perry Pendley
Instead of doing as asked, Secretary Zinke recommended decreasing the size of only four of the most blatantly illegal national monuments while leaving the boundaries of all the others standing with mollycoddle language, which will soon get stricken by environmentalists. Worse, he asked that the president do as Clinton and Obama did before him: that is, designate as national monuments federal lands that do not qualify under the Antiquities Act, including, in a surprisingly questionable case of special pleading, one in his home state of Montana. If President Trump does not heed his own pugnacious and not Zinke’s pusillanimous counsel, the matter will be up to the entity entrusted by the Constitution with management of federal lands: Congress. That is as it should be, but whether Congress is up to the task is doubtful, given not just the past nine months but the last 107 years.