PUBLIC LANDS -- Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke didn't get a thank you from Washington's senators for dropping the Hanford Reach from its review of 27 national monuments created by presidents through the Antiquties Act.
Instead, he and the Trump administration received a rebuke for wasting the federal time and money on the review in the first place.
As sportmen's groups are rethinking their support for Zinke as a Teddy Roosevelt-type steward of public lands, U.S. Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) cut to the chase in a statement posted late Wednesday afternoon:
Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, spoke to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about his proposed recommendation not to make changes to the Hanford Reach National Monument. The Senators made the following statements:
“Today, the Department of the Interior confirmed what so many Washingtonians have known all along—that the Hanford Reach, designated after years of collaboration in the Tri-Cities community, is worthy of protection for generations to come,” said Sen. Patty Murray, who led efforts in the 1990s to establish the Hanford Reach National Monument.
“I commend everyone who made their voice heard during this process. Because of you, the Trump Administration is getting the message loud and clear that families in our state and around the country are ready to fight back against ill-conceived efforts to roll back protections for our prized public lands.”
"Today, I reminded Secretary Zinke that President Trump does not have the authority to rescind the lawful status of our protected national monuments in the first place and taxpayer dollars should have never been used for the Trump administration’s unlawful attack on the Antiquities Act,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell.
“Now that Secretary Zinke agrees that the protection for the Hanford Reach National Monument should not be changed, the Trump Administration should abandon this review and the ill-advised effort to undermine national monuments altogether. An attack on one of our national monuments is an attack on all of them.”