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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesSUPPORT IN HOUSE TO REVISIT MONUMENT ISSUE

SUPPORT IN HOUSE TO REVISIT MONUMENT ISSUE

The chairman of the influential House Committee on Resources pledged Wednesday to help those in the territory upset by the Clinton administration’s 11th-hour national monument designations of undersea lands off St. Croix and St. John.
The support of Resources Chairman James Hansen (R-Utah) came shortly after V.I. Delegate to Congress Donna Christian Christensen submitted to Interior Secretary Gale Norton the petitions of local fishermen and individuals concerned about the designations of the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument off St. John and the expansion of the Buck Island Reef National Monument off St. Croix.
Along with the petitions, Christensen submitted a letter requesting that any interim management plan for the monuments allow current uses while the community works with the National Park Service and the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources to develop management plans supported by all concerned.
According to the proclamation signed
by Clinton just prior to leaving office in January that expands the Buck Island monument by 18,000 acres, the secretary of the Interior, who oversees the Park Service, has two years to prepare a management plan, including that of vessels in the monument, to protect natural and historical resources. For the 12,700-acre St. John monument, the time-line is three years.
In addition to Hansen, Christensen received support from Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands.
Hansen and Hefley sought the input of members from the nine states and two territories where 21 national monuments totaling almost six million acres were designated last December by Clinton and former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt. The letter stated that if "there is clear opposition to the monument designation or a determination that some modifications are necessary," assistance could include "appropriate legislation specific to the national monument in your district."
Christensen, who was recently named the ranking member of the National Parks Subcommittee, said she was gratified by the offers of assistance from members of both Houses and both parties on this issue.
"I am hopeful that with this kind of support and input from all concerned at home, we can develop the right approach so that our natural resources can be enhanced while we protect our traditional uses," she said.
Christensen said that she also received letters supporting the monument designation from St. John residents and Friends of the Virgin Islands Park. Additional town meetings are planned by the Delegate's office or in cooperation with those being planned by DPNR and the National Park Service.

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The chairman of the influential House Committee on Resources pledged Wednesday to help those in the territory upset by the Clinton administration’s 11th-hour national monument designations of undersea lands off St. Croix and St. John.
The support of Resources Chairman James Hansen (R-Utah) came shortly after V.I. Delegate to Congress Donna Christian Christensen submitted to Interior Secretary Gale Norton the petitions of local fishermen and individuals concerned about the designations of the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument off St. John and the expansion of the Buck Island Reef National Monument off St. Croix.
Along with the petitions, Christensen submitted a letter requesting that any interim management plan for the monuments allow current uses while the community works with the National Park Service and the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources to develop management plans supported by all concerned.
According to the proclamation signed
by Clinton just prior to leaving office in January that expands the Buck Island monument by 18,000 acres, the secretary of the Interior, who oversees the Park Service, has two years to prepare a management plan, including that of vessels in the monument, to protect natural and historical resources. For the 12,700-acre St. John monument, the time-line is three years.
In addition to Hansen, Christensen received support from Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands.
Hansen and Hefley sought the input of members from the nine states and two territories where 21 national monuments totaling almost six million acres were designated last December by Clinton and former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt. The letter stated that if "there is clear opposition to the monument designation or a determination that some modifications are necessary," assistance could include "appropriate legislation specific to the national monument in your district."
Christensen, who was recently named the ranking member of the National Parks Subcommittee, said she was gratified by the offers of assistance from members of both Houses and both parties on this issue.
"I am hopeful that with this kind of support and input from all concerned at home, we can develop the right approach so that our natural resources can be enhanced while we protect our traditional uses," she said.
Christensen said that she also received letters supporting the monument designation from St. John residents and Friends of the Virgin Islands Park. Additional town meetings are planned by the Delegate's office or in cooperation with those being planned by DPNR and the National Park Service.