Secretary Zinke’s “sportsmen” announcement obscures historic reductions to protected public lands

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced a proposal to supersede local on the ground land and wildlife managers to distract from his unprecedented secret recommendations to reduce the size of national monuments and protections for public land.

Statement of the proposal by Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project:

This announcement is smoke and mirrors designed to distract from the recommendation Secretary Zinke made in secret to lift protections for vast swaths of public lands. Nothing about this will erase that fact that the Secretary has apparently asked the President to imperil wildlife habitat and access to public land to appease a narrow range of special interests.”


If the President acts on Secretary Zinke’s recommendations to shrink national monuments, it could be the single largest elimination of protections for wildlife habitat in US history, resulting in a massive reduction in the quality and quantity of hunting and fishing opportunities on public lands.

The Congressional Research Service concluded that every monument under review explicitly affirms the continued jurisdiction of the state to manage fish and wildlife.

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