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Santa Barbara County Environmental Group Sues Federal Government Over National Monument Controversy

A Santa Barbara County based environmental group is suing the federal government, after failing to get access to public documents related to the review of protections for a national monument in the region. The suit is related to the potential loss of protections for Carrizo Plain National Monument, a 200,000 acre of preserve of mountains and grasslands In San Luis Obispo, and Kern Counties.

Last year, the Trump Administration announced it would review the status of 27 national monuments, to see if some of them should have protection reduced so their natural resources could be developed. Carrizo Plain was included in the review.

During a public comment period, thousands of people called for the monument to be preserved.

The Secretary of the Interior submitted his recommendations to President Trump, but months later there is still no word about how Carrizo Plain might be affected.

The non-profit group Los Padres ForestWatch filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents from the review, to try to get answers. After the government failed to supply the documents, ForestWatch is suing to try to get a judge to order release of the information.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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