On Wednesday, Aug. 16, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that he will recommend no changes be made to the Sand to Snow National Monument.
The monument, along with 26 other national monuments, were under review pursuant to President Donald Trump’s April Executive Order. He directed Zinke to review all national monuments established since January 1996 and greater than 100,000 acres.
“Today, I am recommending that no changes be made to the Sand to Snow National Monument and that the Monument is no longer under official Department of the Interior review,” said Secretary Zinke in his press release. “The land of Sand to Snow National Monument is some of the most diverse terrain in the West, and the monument is home to incredible geographic, biologic, and archaeological history of our nation.”
The Sand to Snow National Monument connects the San Bernardino National Forest and Joshua Tree National Park. It encompasses about 154,000 acres, of which about 100,000 acres have already been designated as Congressional wilderness areas.
The review included six monuments in California, including two — Mojave Trails and the Sand to Snow National monuments — in Southern California.
At the end of June, the 17 Republican Congressmen sent their recommendations on the various national monuments to Zinke. In this 26-page letter, they did not recommend any change to the Sand to Snow.
“While the designation by President Obama circumvented active legislation that enjoyed widespread support among local officials and stakeholders, it largely adhered to the proposed boundaries and management plans … We recommend no changes to the boundaries of the Sand to Snow National Monument,” they wrote.
In their letter to Zinke, the representatives did recommend that the Mojave Trails Monument be “confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”
The results of reviewing this monument and several others have not been announced but are expected later this month.