WASHINGTON — U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said Wednesday he has no plans for additional changes to national monuments that were recommended by his predecessor, but that it’s ultimately up to President Donald Trump.
The comments at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee meeting are the latest indication that recommendations to shrink two monuments in Oregon and Nevada and change rules at six others remain relegated to backburner status as the White House deals with other issues.
Trump acted in December 2017 to shrink two sprawling Utah monuments on the recommendations of then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who was tasked with reviewing 27 national monuments around the country. Since then, he has done nothing else with Zinke’s recommendations.
The monument review was based on arguments from Trump and others that a law signed by President Theodore Roosevelt allowing presidents to declare monuments had been improperly used to protect wide expanses of lands instead of places with particular historical or archaeological value.