Sunday, 17 December, 2017

President Trump Launches Attack on Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

Trump Wants to Drastically Shrink These National Monuments 5 Native American tribes are gearing up for a legal battle with Trump on national monuments.
Dexter Carr | 06 December, 2017, 00:17

The other monument Trump is targeting, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, was designated by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

President Trump signed two proclamations Monday that shrink federally protected lands in Utah by about 2 million acres - the largest rollback of national monument designations in history.

Trump will also ask Congress to look at the areas that are being removed from the current monuments to consider designating some as a national conservation or national recreation areas, and create a co-management structure for tribes, an administration official said.

Trump commented Monday as he left the White House for a trip to Salt Lake City, where he was outlining his intention to shrink the Bears Ears and the Grand-Staircase Escalante national monuments. What remains of the monument lands may be subdivided into multiple, isolated areas.

A coalition of the Hopi, Ute Indian, Ute Mountain Ute, Zuni tribes and Navajo Nation sued late Monday to challenge the Bears Ears reduction, which cuts monument status for the rugged land in southeastern Utah by about 85 percent. "But we came back".

"Through the Antiquities Act, Congress delegated to the president the limited authority to designate national monuments and retained to itself the power to revoke or modify national monuments".

The California-based company, which is known for its activism, joins a growing number of organizations questioning the Trump administration's authority to slash the areas covered by Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bears Ears National Monument.

Proposed shrinking of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument by executive order
Proposed shrinking of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument by executive order

Zinke told reporters Tuesday he is "fairly confident" Trump will accept his recommendations. "And guess what? They're wrong", Trump said while announcing the decision in the state capitol, alongside Utah's Republican Governor Gary Herbert and the Utah congressional delegation.

"These are federal lands, these are our lands, they're everyone's, they're not just one state's" lands", said Mary Hertert, protester.

Zinke also has recommended allowing logging at a newly designated monument in ME and urges more grazing, hunting and fishing at two sites in New Mexico. Patagonia, which sells outdoor clothing and gear, splashed a statement across its website reading "The President Stole Your Land", and calling Trump's move "illegal".

Valley of the Gods in Bears Ears National Monument, Utah, May 11, 2017.

But the Trump administration insists the president can do that, and Zinke said Tuesday that Trump was "absolutely right" to order a review of 27 large monument declarations dating back two decades.

Both parks, or monuments as they are called, are in the dramatic Southern Utah red rock country.

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