(Adds White House comment in paragraph 5)
WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The head of Department of the Interior called for changes to 10 U.S. monuments, lifting restrictions on activities such as logging and mining, and shrinking the footprints of at least four of the sites, the Washington Post reported.
The Post, citing a copy of the recommendations, said late on Sunday that U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended that President Donald Trump reduce boundaries for Utahs Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, Nevadas Gold Butte and Oregons Cascade-Siskiyou.
Zinke also called for relaxing current restrictions within some of the national monuments' boundaries for activities such as grazing, logging, coal mining and commercial fishing, according to a copy of the memo that the Post obtained.
Representatives for the Interior Department did not respond to requests for comment on the report.
"The Trump Administration does not comment on leaked documents, especially internal drafts which are still under review by the President and relevant agencies," White House spokeswoman Kelly Love said in a statement to Reuters.
Last month, Zinke said he had sent his recommendations to the Republican president after reviewing more than two dozen national monuments. Trump ordered the review in April as part of his broader effort to increase development on federal lands.
Energy, mining, ranching and timber industries have cheered the review, while conservation groups and the outdoor recreation industry threatened lawsuits over what they see as an effort to undo protections of critical natural and cultural resources.
Besides reducing the four sites, Zinke called for changes at Maines Katahdin Woods and Waters, New Mexicos Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte, two Pacific Ocean marine monuments and another marine one off the New England coast, the Post said.
The monuments targeted in the memo were created by former presidents George W. Bush, a Republican, and Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, according to the report.
Trump has said previous administrations abused their right to create monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906 by imposing limits on drilling, mining, logging, ranching and other activities in huge areas, mainly in western states.
A designation as a national monument prohibits mining and sets stringent protections for ecosystems on the site.
While the law enables a president to permanently declare certain places of historic or scientific interest a national monument, a few U.S. presidents have reduced the size of some such areas.
(Writing by Susan Heavey and Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)