Zinke recommends monument status for Badger-Two Medicine - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Zinke recommends monument status for Badger-Two Medicine

Posted: 12/05/2017 16:07:00 -07:00 Updated:
Map from GlacierTwoMedicine.org Map from GlacierTwoMedicine.org

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has recommended that the Trump Administration create three new national monuments, including one in Montana.

The Badger-Two Medicine region is an expanse of mountains, ridges, river valleys, and wetlands along Montana’s northern Rocky Mountain Front.

The Wilderness Society website describes the area: "Nestled between Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, this 130,000-acre expanse of wildlands is too wild to drill. While the area is managed by the Lewis and Clark National Forest, it is a holy place for the Blackfeet people who have used the Badger-Two Medicine for thousands of years. It is known as a place for prayer and vision quests."

During a press call Tuesday, Zinke released a report outlining recommendations he made to President Donald Trump following an Executive Order review of the National Monuments and the Antiquities Act.

Secretary Zinke recommended keeping all federal lands under federal ownership, adding three new national monuments, and modifying the boundaries on four other monuments.

The new national monuments recommendations are:

  • Montana: Badger-Two Medicine area of the Rocky Mountain Front
  • Kentucky: Camp Nelson, a Civil War-era Union Camp in Bluegrass Country
  • Mississippi: the home of civil rights activist Medger Evars.

On Monday, President Trump announced his intention to shrink two Utah monuments contained in the report: Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bear Ears. The report released Tuesday also recommended modifying Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon and the Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada.

Zinke’s recommendations for Cascade-Siskiyou include modifying the boundary.

The report says, “The boundary should be revised through the use of appropriate authority, including lawful exercise of your discretion granted by the Act, in order to address impacts on private lands and to address issues concerning the designation and reservation of O&C Lands as part of the monument and the impacts on commercial timber production.”

O&C Lands are lands set aside as part of a 1937 law that designated Oregon and Californa Railroad Lands set aside for permanent timber production.

Zinke’s recommendation for Nevada’s Gold Butte National Monument includes making amendments to “address inaccuracies related to active grazing allotments.”

The Department of the Interior website has more information about today's announcement.

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