Dedicated to the conservation and restoration of nature, The Larch Company is a non-membership for-profit organization that represents species that cannot talk and humans not yet born. A deciduous conifer, the western larch has a contrary nature.
President Trump signed an executive order on April 26, 2017, that directs Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review sixty-two of the last three presidents’ national monument proclamations, dating back to 1996. The review will result in a final report in four months that “shall include recommendations, Presidential actions, legislative proposals, or other actions consistent with law.”
The administration is interested in either totally abolishing, reducing in size, and/or weakening the protections for national monuments. Those prerogatives belong to Congress. If Trump tries, he’ll get a multitude of tweets saying, “See you in court!”
Crabtree Lake in Crabtree Valley, home to some of the largest and oldest trees in Oregon, located on western Oregon public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, in Linn County, is part of the proposed Douglas-Fir National Monument. Photo: David Stone, Wildlands Photography.
There is no question that an Act of Congress can eliminate, shrink, or weaken a national monument proclaimed by a president pursuant to authority granted by Congress. What Congress giveth, Congress can taketh away. The property clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2) ensures that. Yet in fifty-five Congresses over the past 110 years, Congress has rarely acted to eliminate, reduce, or weaken a national monument proclamation by a president.