Brook Ward / Flickr Muir Woods National Monument...
Brook Ward / Flickr

The threat to our national monuments is not over. As Donald Trump gleefully shriveled the size of two national monuments previously designated by better and less stubby-fingered presidents, Team Garbage Fire also identified a host of other national monuments that need some business-friendly fixing up. The official spearheading the drive to protect fewer acres of federal land is, of course, Team Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

A Zinke-led study into national monument declarations says that Trump should shrink Oregon and California’s Cascade-Siskiyou and Nevada’s Gold Butte national monuments by small amounts.

Zinke is also recommending Trump change management plans for six other monuments, allowing for additional grazing, ranching, fishing, hunting, and other activities in those locations.

Those additional management changes are for monuments in Maine, New Mexico, and in the Pacific. None of the changes are expected to be as dramatic as those Trump put his thumb to in Utah, but the Trump administration is known for flagrant and prodigious lying, so you can take that news with a heap of salt. Zinke wants commercial fishing to resume in the Pacific national monuments, and the Cascade-Siskiyou monument, in particular, is likely to be a major Trump target simply due to its location in states that hate Donald Trump’s evertweeting guts.

While we wait for details on that, let us note that Ryan Zinke still has a job despite being previously pinned as one of the Trump officials prone to chartering private jets at taxpayer expense in order to attend lavish GOP fundraising events, a side gig promoting seedy “scam PACs” that purport to raise money for political causes but which instead spend almost all of the money themselves, and being a paranoid advocate against his own department.

This is likely because there’s not a single person on the Trump team who has a healthy sense of shame. Or a non-healthy sense of shame. Or any sense of shame at all.

More to the point, though, if Zinke manages to skate past investigations into his own jet-setting and bizarre management practices he’ll be lined up to make a fortune as a lobbyist himself, almost certainly for one of the specific industries benefiting from his governmental decisions now. Which is, after all, the only reason business-loyal conservatives ever get into politics to begin with. It sure as hell ain’t because they want to “conserve” anything.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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