Time has run out on the national monuments comment period. According to a statement released by the Department of the Interior, over 1.2 million comments were submitted via regulations.gov and thousands more were submitted through snail mail.
Secretary Ryan Zinke stated, “President Trump and I opened the formal public comment period – the first-ever for monuments designated under the Antiquities Act – in order to give local stakeholders a voice in the decision-making process.”
When President Barack Obama first designated Bears Ears and Gold Butte national monuments, the Obama White House issued a statement that said in part, “Following years of public input and various proposals to protect both of these areas, including legislation and a proposal from tribal governments in and around Utah, these monuments will protect places that a wide range of stakeholders all agree are worthy of protection.”
The Department of the Interior press release did not provide any information on the contents of the public comments, to include whether the comments were generally for or against monument modification. There was also no mention of when or if the Department will provide a summary of the comments.