SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending scaling back the size of the Gold Butte National Monument in southern Nevada.
Zinke said Tuesday he would focus changes on the site's water districts. Gold Butte protects more than 400 square miles of desert landscapes featuring rock art, sandstone towers and wildlife habitat for the threatened Mojave Desert tortoise and other species.
Brian Beffort, director of the Sierra Club's Toiyabe Chapter in Nevada, says the recommendation is "a direct attack on decades of work invested by local communities."
President Trump signed a pair of proclamations Monday shrinking the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah.
Zinke declined to specify how much land he wants to remove from monument status in Nevada. He says the administration is working with Nevada's governor and congressional delegation to find a solution.
Democratic Congresswoman Dina Titus says Zinke "is in no position to make a sound judgment on Gold Butte."