Trump to sign executive order reviewing every national monument since 1996

You can now add national monuments to the growing list of items President Donald Trump wants to go after.

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Trump is planning to sign an executive order this week that would examine the process of how a sitting president can designate federal lands to become national monuments. The president is also ordering the Interior Department to look at designations that have been made over the past 21 years — since 1996 — in order to determine whether certain monuments were declared outside of the law’s intent.

The president can issue executive orders naming federal lands as national monuments through the Antiquities Act, which was signed originally by Theodore Roosevelt. The Act has been used by several presidents since, and has helped establish well-known American landmarks including the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty, according to the Wilderness Society.

Just before his departure from office, former President Barack Obama made a series of orders protecting several sites on federal land using executive actions through the Antiquities Act. Two sites in Utah, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, were among the sites Obama sought to protect.

According to the Oregonian, Obama also took executive action to protect the Gold Butte National Monument, an area where rancher Cliven Bundy led an armed standoff against federal agents back in 2014.

Many Native Americans consider these areas to be important heritage sites, some of which are also home to many threatened species. Trump’s actions on Wednesday may eventually result in the reconsideration of national monument status for these sites, with the possibility of outright removal in the future, according to reporting from the Hill.

About the Author

Chris Walker
Chris Walker been writing about political issues for the past decade, including for sites such as Elite Daily, AMERICAblog, and Mic. You can follow him on Twitter @thatchriswalker.