March 29, 2021 –
Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) sent a follow-up letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Debra Haaland regarding the boundaries and designations of three national monuments. In part, Westerman wrote:
“Despite repeated requests for a briefing about the national monuments review prescribed by Executive Order 13990, the Department of the Interior continues to deny the Committee Minority information. I applaud your recognition of the concerns I outlined in my March 8, 2021 letter to DOI that national monument boundary reviews should incorporate engagement with stakeholders and provide the utmost transparency. Your delay of the arbitrary deadline set in President Biden’s EO to make recommendations on millions of acres of land until after you actually visit these areas is commendable. Several transparency concerns surrounding the review process, however, remain…
“While the planned visit to Utah, as well as reports of DOI aides meeting with stakeholders, are encouraging steps, many matters remain unclear. For example, there is uncertainty whether DOI plans to initiate a formal, public comment period and how local support for the Trump Administration’s decision will factor into future analysis. Additionally, given the lack of direction provided by EO 13990, it is unknown how you will conduct your evaluation, whether you will follow the same analysis as then-Secretary Zinke, and whether you will comply with the Antiquities Act of 1906.”
Read the full letter here.
Read Westerman’s initial letter on this issue here.
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