Trump Wants to Drastically Shrink These National Monuments

06 December, 2017, 00:17 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Supporters of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments hold signs during a rally Saturday Dec. 2 2017 in Salt Lake City

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

The president issued two proclamations Monday to reduce the size of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, as well as the Bears Ears National Monument, and to allow mining in the newly public lands, and conservation groups filed a lawsuit against it a few hours later.

A Zinke-led study into national monument declarations says that Trump should shrink OR and California's Cascade-Siskiyou and Nevada's Gold Butte national monuments by small amounts.

Leaked maps revealed proposals to shrink boundaries at Bears Ears national park from 1.3 million acres to 201,000 acres while Grand Staircase Escalante will be slashed by half to just under one million acres. The Bears Ears and surrounding sites are considered sacred to many American Indian tribes.

"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".

Supporters of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments gather during a rally Saturday Dec. 2 2017 in Salt Lake City
5 Native American tribes are gearing up for a legal battle with Trump on national monuments.

Trump's announcement, which amounts to the largest rollback of national monument land designation in US history, follows a months-long review by the Interior Department that he ordered in April to identify which of 27 monuments designated by past presidents should be rescinded or resized to provide states and local governments more control of the land. They are expected to file a lawsuit on Wednesday against the president, as founder Yvon Chouinard said as much in an interview with CNN. The details of that report will be released Tuesday, he said. "Public lands will once again be for public use, because we know that people who are free to use their land and enjoy their land are the people most determined to conserve their land", he said.

"Federal protected lands are to preserve and protect the natural and cultural history forever and for future generations", Lisa Eckert, protester, said.

"It's an attack on all of our National Monuments, an attack on one in an attack on all, so we want to come out here and stand in solidarity of protection of our national treasures", Gabriel Otoro, organizer of the rally, said.

Both monuments span millions of acres in Utah and are among 27 national monuments that Trump ordered his Interior Secretary to review earlier this year. He made the announcement at the Utah State Capital, with a proclamation signing ceremony that included state and federal lawmakers. He also calls for a new assessment of border-safety risks at a monument in southern New Mexico. The President's move was met with protests in Utah and in San Francisco by environmentalists and some Native Americans.

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