Title: Review of Certain National Monuments Established Since 1996; Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment
Docket ID: DOI-2017-0002
Agency: DOI - Office of the Secretary
Comments Close: July 10, 2017
The purpose for this notice is to review certain National Monuments in order to implement Executive Order 13792. The Secretary of the Interior will use the review to "determine whether each designation or expansion conforms to the policy stated in the Executive Order and to formulate recommendations for Presidential actions, legislative proposals, or other appropriate actions to carry out that policy." The notice calls for public comments that address factors the Secretary should consider for the review.
Executive Order 13792 directs the Secretary of the Interior to review all Presidential designations or expansions of designations of national monuments made since January 1, 1996 under the Antiquities Act, where the designation (before or after expansion) covers more than 100,000 acres, or where the Secretary determines that the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders.
In particular, the Secretary is directed to consider whether reservations of land “not exceed the smallest area compatible” called for in the Antiquities Act; “whether designated lands are appropriately classified under the [Antiquities] Act as ‘historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest’”; the effects of designation as it relates to the multiple-use policy section of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act; and “such other factors as the Secretary deems appropriate.”
Note that the period for public comment for the review of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah is closed as of May 26th, 2017.
The national monuments under review include 20 areas over 100,000 acres in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. It also includes the Katahadin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine, which was determined to be a recently established National Monument that was created where “the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders”. The Secretary will also take comments pertaining to five Marine National Monuments under review as directed by Section 4 of Executive Order 13795, “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy”. A full list of the National Monuments under review is available on the designated site at regulations.gov.
The Department of the Interior invites comments to inform the review of the National Monuments and Marine National Monuments of interest. The Department of the Interior “seeks public comments related to: (1) whether national monuments in addition to those listed above should be reviewed because they were designated or expanded after January 1, 1996 ‘without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders’; and (2) the application of factors (i) through (vii) [of Executive Order 13792] to the listed national monuments or to other Presidential designations or expansions of designations meeting the criteria of the Executive Order." Those factors are:
(i) The requirements and original objectives of the Act, including the Act's requirement that reservations of land not exceed “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected”;
(ii) whether designated lands are appropriately classified under the Act as “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest”;
(iii) the effects of a designation on the available uses of designated Federal lands, including consideration of the multiple-use policy, as well as the effects on the available uses of Federal lands beyond the monument boundaries;
(iv) the effects of a designation on the use and enjoyment of non-Federal lands within or beyond monument boundaries;
(v) concerns of State, tribal, and local governments affected by a designation, including the economic development and fiscal condition of affected States, tribes, and localities;
(vi) the availability of Federal resources to properly manage designated areas; and
(vii) such other factors as the Secretary deems appropriate.
Contributor: PhD Student, Quantitative Ecology and Management