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Young Pushes Back Against Obama's Motion to Expand Marine National Monument

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Don Young
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Newly introduced legislation hopes to push back against presidential action that limits the use of certain marine areas.  KDLG’s Chase Cavanaugh has more.

Alaska Congressman Don Young has introduced the Marine Access and State Transparency, or MAST Act in the House of Representatives.  The legislation comes in response to President Obama’s announcement that he would greatly expand the  Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.  Spokesman Matt Shuckerow says in doing this, Obama is acting prematurely.

“This closes off giant swaths of the Pacific Ocean without proper consultation and comment from those folks that depend on the area for economic activity, for tourism, for different things. This is the fishing industry and other potential for resource development.”

The act would prevent the immediate creation of national monuments  within America’s Exclusive Economic Zone, a 200 mile area stretching from the end of state waters.   These conversions would require an act of Congress, a Presidential proposal submitted to the affected governor, and approval by the state or territory’s legislature.  The legislation follows pressure by groups such as the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, which represents professionals in Hawaii and several Pacific territories.