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Interior Department finalizes management plans for monuments while tribes and environmentalists continue court fight

Posted at 6:23 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 20:27:20-05

The U.S. Interior Department announced finalized management plans for national monuments shrunk by President Trump in 2017, but Native American tribes, environmental groups, and even one of the counties affected say the process is illegitimate and circumvents the courts.

Carly Ferro of the Sierra Club Utah Chapter said “This process remains egregious and this plan confirms Bernhardt’s Interior is clearly trying to let in mining and drilling before a court can overturn the rollbacks.”

But Assistant Secretary of the Interior Casey Hammond told reporters on a conference call they can’t wait for a long court process.

“If we stopped and waited we would never be able to do much of anything around here,” Hammond said.