Days after President Trump cut 2 million acres from a pair of national monuments in Utah, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended reductions of two additional monuments, Gold Butte and Cascade-Siskiyou, to allow “traditional use” of federal land.
President Trump signed two proclamations at the Utah state Capitol, cutting the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments to less than 40 percent of their original size and opening 2 million acres (3,125 square miles) to "hunting, grazing and responsible economic development." Tribes and environmental groups said they would go to court to block what a think tank called "the largest elimination of protected areas in U.S. history."
Two Democratic senators questioned if President Trump has the authority to slash two national monuments in Utah to 40 percent of their current size, and said the USDA did not recommend removing national forest land from them. Trump is expected to announce the new boundaries for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments today during a visit to Salt Lake City.
During a visit to Utah next week, President Trump will announce that he is lopping a combined 2 million acres from the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, reducing them to 37 percent of their current size, said the Washington Post.
The lead Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee wants to interview the USDA’s Sam Clovis, a co-chair of the Trump presidential campaign, about proposals that Trump representatives meet Russian government officials during the 2016 campaign.
Climate change is likely to be slightly less damaging thanks to policies in India and China that could offset the U.S.'s reduced environmental efforts under President Trump. “The Carbon Action Tracker (CAT) report, by three independent European research groups, said current policies meant the world was headed for a warming of 3.4 degrees Celsius (6.1 Fahrenheit) by 2100, down from 3.6 degrees (6.5) it predicted a year ago,” explained Reuters.
An amalgam of budget hawks, environmentalists and food movement activists are scheduled to call for reform of U.S. food and ag policy today as Rep. Earl Blumenauer unveils legislation to challenge the farm bill being assembled by the House Agriculture Committee.
A coalition of 100 companies and trade groups representing the U.S. food and agriculture sector says it supports President Trum's goal of modernization of NAFTA but, "We encourage NAFTA negotiations to continue without the threat of withdrawal." Trump has repeatedly threatened to scrap the tri-national trade agreement and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Canada and Mexico have more to lose than the United States if there is a rupture.
Rural Virginia has trended Republican in the past two decades, and the statewide election this week underlined its political divergence from the state’s metropolitan areas, said the Daily Yonder.
A year ago, rural America voted two-to-one to put Donald Trump in the White House. Rural Virginians are certain to vote heavily for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie in today’s election, and “the margin ... may affect the statewide result,” says the Daily Yonder.