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Trump’s latest executive order impacts the Central Coast

Donald Trump’s latest executive order could allow him to roll back the protection of lands that have been designated by the last three presidents. Some of the lands impacted lie along the Central Coast and interior.

Trump signed the Antiquities Act executive order on Wednesday. The order instructs the Interior Department to review all national monuments designated by President Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

“Today I’m signing a new executive order to end another egregious use of federal power, and give that power back to the states and the people, where it belongs,” announced Trump at the signing of the executive action.

24 national monuments could be re-shaped, including Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Basin and Range National Monument. Others could include an array of Pacific Ocean monuments like the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

“Legal scholars note that the Antiquities Act only gives the President the authority to designate national monuments. It does not confer any powers to the President to unilaterally revoke or otherwise change existing national monuments designated by other presidents,” stated the local non-profit organization Los Padres ForestWatch .

The order affects the following national monuments along California’s central coast and interior:

Monument Name


Size (acres)

Year Designated

Giant Sequoia

Fresno, Kern, Tulare



Carrizo Plain

San Luis Obispo



San Gabriel Mountains

Los Angeles



Mojave Trails

San Bernardino



Sand to Snow

Riverside, San Bernardino



“Today’s Executive Order is an attack on public lands and an affront to millions of Americans who live, work, and play in these spectacular landscapes,” said Jeff Kuyper, executive director of Los Padres ForestWatch, a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to protecting the Carrizo Plain National Monument and the adjacent Los Padres National Forest. “We stand ready to defend the Carrizo Plain National Monument from any misguided efforts that would make these lands more vulnerable to development.”

The Carrizo Plain is a large enclosed land of golden grasslands and stark ridges adjacent to the Los Padres National Forest in the southeastern corner of San Luis Obispo County. The area recently saw a super bloom of wildflowers.

“It is an amazing place to go visit, and we want to make sure it stays protected,” said Kuyper. “What makes it so unique is that is it one of the only examples of native grasslands left in the San Joaquin Valley.”

The Carrizo Plain National Monument was established by President Clinton in 2001.

Besides being home to thousands of flowers species, many animals, like protected elk, called the 200,000-acre monument home. Kuyper fears what could happen if those protections go away.

“We see this as an attack on the protections these lands have enjoyed for many years. It could open them up to things like oil drilling, mining, and other activities that can really harm and destroy fragile ecosystems.”

President Trump has his supporters, including the Public Lands Council that would like congress to have the final say in designating national monuments. Environmental groups say they will fight to keep the designation.

A final report reviewing most national monuments affected by this executive order is due in 120 days.

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