Conservationists gird for major legal fight as August 24 deadline nears for Zinke's NMon recommendations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will recommend on Aug. 24 whether to eliminate or shrink nearly two dozen national monuments, creating the first major test for a 111-year-old law that gives presidents the power to protect swaths of public land.

Zinke is expected to recommend that at least some of the national monuments under review - which were all created since 1996 - be rescinded or shrunk in size, responding to an order by President Donald Trump, who believes there should be greater opportunity to increase local resource development and economic opportunities.

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