After a controversial review of federal lands, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said definitively Tuesday that New Mexico's Rio Grande del Norte and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks monuments would not be reduced in size.
Local environmental organizations are anxious about what President Donald Trump's decision on national monuments in Utah means for Montana's public lands.
Zinke declined to specify how many acres he wants to remove from monument status, stressing that the administration is working with Nevada's governor and congressional delegation to find a solution.
Zinke said the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument straddling the border of OR and California and the Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada were both too big and should be reduced in size. Changes will center on recent expansion of the site, which was first created by Clinton in 2000.
He did not elaborate on how much land should be trimmed.
Zinke released his final report on the monument changes and defended President Trump's actions, saying other presidents have followed a similar course, that there's no move to transfer public lands to the states and that he had met with tribal leaders to discuss the changes.
"The implications of these recommendations for Maine's monument remain unclear, so we can not fully judge whether these recommendations are acceptable and consistent with the overwhelming view of ME people, problematic for the intended objective of this Monument, or illegal and likely to trigger action in the courts", she said in a statement.
Zinke has been silent on the other 11 monuments under review, from Giant Sequoia in California to the Marianas Trench southwest of Guam, but they are presumed to remain intact.
The 20-page document proposes designating the Badger-Two Medicine area as a monument. He also recommends adding the home of civil rights hero Medgar Evers in Mississipi.