Six national monuments in California, including one that expanded federal protections for the San Gabriel Mountains, are among more than two dozen “under review” by the Trump administration.
President Donald Trump on April 26 signed an executive order instructing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review monuments of more than 100,000 acres created or expanded since. The monuments under review were created by Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton under their executive authority granted by the 1906 Antiquities Act.
On Friday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Interior formally identified those national monuments to be “initially reviewed.” There are 27, including five ocean monuments.
Those in California on the list are:
- Mojave Trails National Monument, 1.6 million acres, created in 2016. This includes rugged mountains and sand dunes between Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve to the north.
- Sand to Snow National Monument, 154,000 acres, created in 2016. This monument protects the area west of Joshua Tree National Park and southeast of Big Bear Lake, one of the most biodiverse regions in Southern California.
- San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, 346,177 acres, created in 2014. This monument gave increased protections to a portion of the Angeles National Forest and about 4,000 acres in the San Bernardino National Forest. The Forest Service notes the park is a popular recreation destination for Southern California, being within 90 minutes of 15 million people.
- Berryessa Snow Mountain, 330,780 acres, created in 2015. This monument extends for some 100 miles – from near a popular fishing destination northwest of Sacramento, Lake Berryessa, north into local mountains.
- Carrizo Plain National Monument, 204,107 acres, created in 2001. This covers a remote native grassland, known for its wildflowers, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The San Andreas Fault runs through it.
- Giant Sequoia National Monument, 327,760 acres, created in 2000. This monument, in the area of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, covers six groves of giant sequoias, the largest trees on Earth by mass.
All but one of the 22 land monuments under review are in the West; one, Katahadin Woods and Waters National Monument, which was designated in Maine last year, is being reviewed to determine whether adequate public outreach was done, according to the Interior Department.
One of the most controversial on the list is 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, which Zinke plans to visit next week. It was created in late December by Obama.
The department said in a news release that it is seeking comment from the public on the monuments. Comments may be submitted after May 12 at regulations.gov by entering “DOI-2017-0002” in the search bar and clicking “Search,” or by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.
Public comment for Bears Ears will last only 15 days, shorter than other monuments, because Zinke is required by the executive order to give a determination within 45 days, the department said.