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Trump to Sign Order on National Monuments

On April 24, 2017, the New York Times reported that President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order today that orders a review of the national monument designations made within the last 20 years. The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorizes the president to designate “objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government” to be national monuments. A national monument designation is generally considered to greatly restrict certain land uses, including oil and natural gas development. President Trump’s executive order, if signed, would continue a controversy surrounding President Barack Obama’s designation of Bears Ears National Monument in 2016 – an area that oil and natural gas operators had expressed interest in developing. The review is expected to be overseen by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and to take approximately four months to complete.