At least one expanse of protected land in California is now officially safe from the Trump administration’s plan to eliminate or shrink some country’s national monuments.
Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced Wednesday that the administration has no interest in carving up the Sand to Snow National Monument east of Los Angeles. The 154,000-acre monument that includes some 30 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail was created just last year by President Obama. It is the first California monument Zinke has promised to leave be in the review Trump ordered of monuments created since 1996 that are more than 100,000 acres.
As with such promises Zinke has made regarding select monuments in other states, there seemed to be little rationale to the timing of the announcement, or why Zinke has chosen to publicly comment on this particular property but none of the five other monuments in California, which include Berryessa Snow Mountain, Carrizo Plain, Giant Sequoia, Mojave Trails and San Gabriel Mountains.
“Today, I am recommending that no changes be made to the Sand to Snow National Monument and that the Monument is no longer under official Department of the Interior review,” Zinke said in a statement. “The land of Sand to Snow National Monument is some of the most diverse terrain in the West, and the monument is home to incredible geographic, biologic, and archaeological history of our nation.”
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