Franz: Preserve size of national monuments

Hanford Reach among federal areas being reviewed

— On the final day the Trump Administration was receiving comments on national monument sizes, state Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz begged for the federal government to leave public land allocations alone.

Franz, the former director of the environmental activist group Futurewise, urged the federal government to preserve all national monuments currently under review.

President Trump, in Executive Order 13792, directed the U.S. Department of the Interior to review the sizes of monuments designated under the Antiquities Act.

Hanford Reach is one of the monuments under review. At 195,000 acres, critiques contend the site could be cut in half, with half being put back into agricultural production.

“While the federal government gave us a window to comment on this specific proposal, I believe American citizens need to continue to contact the Department of Interior and our other elected federal representatives to let them know how much the people of Washington value our public lands, especially these critical areas where we can touch and feel our national heritage,” Franz said.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will provide results of the review later this year.


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