Zinke said he would issue his report on August 28. He failed to issue the report. Instead he issued a summary that was vague and misleading. Its unclear where the full report went since its unlikely Don Trump is aware of any of this review or has any interest at all in public lands. So the report is sitting on some desk at the White House.
The fact that Zinke refused to share the report with the people of the United States who own the national monuments in question shows me that he is ashamed of its contents. He knows that he will recommend opening national monuments to oil drilling and coal mining. Destroying protected land for carbon mining is extremely unpopular and Zinke knows it. But the Trump team is fully captive of the carbon industry. Zinke has devoted his entire career to opening our public lands to the oil industry.
If the Trump folks get around to shrinking or eliminating national monuments there will be a storm of litigation from businesses, public interest organizations, scientists and agency professionals. The courts will be clogged with lawsuits and some of those cases may make it to the Supreme Court.
Legal scholars have been arguing for months about whether Don Trump has the legal authority to alter national monuments without the consent of Congress. Its anybody's guess what the Supreme Court would do with these cases but with the far right wing Neil Gorsuch on the court, we cannot be optimistic.
Trump's approach to governing is to insulate himself in extreme right wing views and ignore dissent from anyone outside his fantasy bubble. If people dissent they risk his personal condemnation. He is unable to engage the substance of issues preferring to bluster and strut and bring attention to himself with his shallow adolescent thinking.
We are sure to see more of this should the national monument fight come to his short attention span.
Meanwhile in the West and Maine, the preservation of some of our last wild places hangs in the balance as does the economic survival of thousands of businesses that are thriving near our national monuments, owned by all the people of the United States.