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Rally planned over threat to Carrizo Plain National Monument

Greta Mart/KCBX
A view from the Carrizo Plain in southeast San Luis Obispo County.

On Saturday - July 1 - in San Luis Obispo, a rally is planned calling for the protection of the Carrizo Plain National Monument. Former Central Coast congresswoman Lois Capps, current congressman Salud Carbajal and several community leaders say they will gather to bring attention to the Trump administration’s current effort to revoke protective status for 27 national monuments around the U.S. 

In late April, the Trump administration announced a new executive order that directs the Interior Department to review the designations and authorizes Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to recommend either shrinking them in size or eliminating them entirely. As worded in the executive order, the review is a prelude to possibly revoking national monument status if Zinke determines the designation was made “without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders.”

The Trump administration is seeking to open up federally owned public lands to more resource extraction and national monument status hinders that effort. Carbajal says if the Carrizo Plain national monument status is revoked, it could lead to opening the area to drilling and mining, while destroying important archeological sites there.

The public comment period on the review effort ends on July 10. Secretary Zinke will report back to the president in August with his conclusions.

Rally organizers said they want to encourage residents to voice their opinion on the Interior Department’s current review of the monuments by submitting public comments here.

Saturday’s rally will take place between 11 a.m. and noon in San Luis Obispo’s downtown Mission Plaza.

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