What is done by executive power can be undone by executive power.

Former President Barack Obama began to learn that lesson this Wednesday when President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a review of all Antiquities Act designations larger than 100,000 acres over the past 30 years.

Specifically, the executive order directs Zinke to consider “the requirements and original objectives of the Act, including the Act’s requirement that reservations of land not exceed ‘the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected’” and whether “designated lands are appropriately classified under the Act as ‘historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest.’”

This wording strongly suggests that Obama’s lame duck decision to designate 1.35 million acres in San Juan County as a national monument will at least be significantly reduced and possibly entirely rescinded.

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