The 327,000 acre monument was created by President Bill Clinton in 2000 in an area south of Sequoia National Park. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has 120 days to review the monument. He could modify its boundaries and even recommend the president to rescind its status. Stephen Montgomery with the Kern-Kaweah Chapter of the Sierra Club thinks that would be a mistake.
“With less protection I would see criminal activity from urban gang activity moving up into the area, illegal marijuana groves," Montgomery says. "For us to irresponsibly walk away from them [the monuments] is criminal.”
Carla Cloer with the Sequoia Task Force within the Sierra Club says if the monument loses its status “over half the earth’s giant sequoia groves” would be at risk.
"It depends on what they plan to do, but I think they are going to have a heck of a lot of protestations [if they do something negative]," Cloer says. "They will kind of awaken a sleeping giant."
If a monument’s status is revoked after this four month time frame, Trump would be the first president to ever do so. Other California monuments at risk of losing their federally protected status are Carrizo Plain National Monument and Mojave Trails National Monument.