Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says Craters of the Moon National Monument should stay the same. The announcement comes after President Trump ordered a review of 27 monuments this spring, which included Craters. Zinke opened up a public comment period after the order, and said in a press release that these comments influenced his decision.
John Freemuth with the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State says the decision to halt the review is not surprising. He says Craters was never a monument with much public pushback.
“There was never any opposition to it of any significance. It doesn’t surprise me at all,” says Freemuth.
Presidents have the authority to designate monuments without congressional approval. Some groups in the West say President Obama used this authority too much, especially in the case of Bears Ears monument in Utah. But Freemuth says it’s still not clear what the decision on Craters means for the Bears Ears debate.
“I guess we just want to see what he does as he works his way through all of these, and then we’ll know a lot more.”
Zinke is set to make a decision on the Utah monument in August.
Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
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