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PNS Daily Newscast - December 11, 2017 


Families across the nation are still waiting for children's health insurance funding; also on our nationwide rundown, Aztec High School in New Mexico remains closed following a deadly shooting; plus a look at how politics figure into most companies' marketing strategies.

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Zinke Says New Mexico Monuments Won't Shrink

The U.S. Interior Department recommends changing the proclamation for two national monuments in Mew Mexico but not shrinking them in size. IN(hcn.org)
The U.S. Interior Department recommends changing the proclamation for two national monuments in Mew Mexico but not shrinking them in size. IN(hcn.org)
December 6, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After a controversial review of federal lands, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said definitively on Tuesday that New Mexico's Rio Grande del Norte and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monuments would not be reduced in size.

In a call with reporters, Zinke said he would recommend that the proclamations establishing the monuments be modified, although it's not clear what that might allow on the sites.

Zinke said he is recommending that President Donald Trump use his authority to change the proclamation of the New Mexico monuments in ways that would address concerns about drug trafficking routes near the Organ Mountains and grazing access in the Rio Grande area.

"My recommendation was not to make any revisions on the boundaries, and I just want to make sure that again that we have the ability to actively manage the properties in perpetuity," Zinke said.

Trump announced Monday that he would reduce the acreage of Utah's Bears Ears National Monument by about 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante by nearly half.

Zinke said Tuesday he also supports cutting the size of Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou monuments.

When Trump announced he would dramatically shrink Utah's monuments, Native American leaders, along with environmental and conservation groups, vowed to take the fight to court.

Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, sided with the groups and told reporters Tuesday the outrage is understandable.

“This decision lifts protections for tens of thousands of Native American sacred sites," Udall said. "It strips protections for sensitive lands and cultural sites, and it is deeply hurtful and insulting to the Native American tribes who worked over many years for the Bears Ears National Monument and its protection."

Conservation groups say the monument reduction in Utah is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.


Roz Brown, Public News Service - NM