President Trump announced controversial cuts to national monuments in Utah on Monday.
Trump called for an 85 percent cut to Utah’s 1.3 million acre Bears Ears National Monument created in 2016 by Barack Obama and a 50 percentage cut to the state’s 1.9 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument created by Bill Clinton in 1996. The new proclamations came in a speech and Utah and promises to split up both monuments into several smaller ones.
Congressman Rob Bishop( R-Utah) is expected to introduce legislation to carry out the cuts, a House aide said. Trump will likewise ask Congress to look at the areas being removed from the current monuments to deem designating some as a national preservation or national recreation areas, will creating a co-management arrangement for tribes, according to Reuters.
The announcement follows its consideration of the item undertaken by the Interior Department that began last April to identify which of the 27 tombstones created by past chairmen could be rescinded or scaled back to make room for more growing.
These tombstones were created under the 1906 Antiquities Act, a law that gives presidents the authority to protect sacred and significant areas of federal land by presidential proclamation.
The cuts could lead to lawsuits from Native American tribes who deem Bears Ears sacred. Conservation group and outdoor clothing company Patagonia has also said it plans to file a legal challenge.
Conservation groups and activists have conveyed their disappointment with the president’s decision, which they belief will lead to more fracking and oil drilling in the country.
The President will be traveling to Utah- not to celebrate tribal sacred sites but to gut protections for Bears Ears and other wild national tombstones. Tell @POTUS this move is wrong for our nation’s tribes and wrong for #wildlife. #StandWithBearsEars https :// t.co/ Yti9HCllpt pic.twitter.com/ kdFanm7 7fj
— Wildlife Action (@ wildlifeaction) November 30, 2017
— Sierra Club Utah (@ UtahSierraClub) December 2, 2017
— Nik Wojcik (@ nik_shine) December 4, 2017
Not all Utah occupants are upset about the announcement. State representative Mike Noel from Kane County–location of the Grand Staircase–said reducing the size of the monument will boost the state’s economy.
If successful, the move will represent the most significant reductions by any chairman to identifications attained under the Antiquities Act.
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