President Trump shrinks national monuments

06 December, 2017, 00:13 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Trump Wants to Drastically Shrink These National Monuments

The plans would break Bears Ears into two national monuments and Grand Staircase-Escalante into three separate monuments.

President Donald Trump announced a reduction in the acreage of two of Utah's sprawling wilderness national monuments on Monday saying he wanted the people of Utah to control the land.

When the administration began its controversial review of 27 large monuments, including Utah's Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, it said the Act needed to be tested.

Locals, business owners and city officials rallied against an executive order to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. "All five tribes will be standing together united to defend Bears Ears", said Natalie Landreth, an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund, which believes the cut would violate the Antiquities Act.

"With the action I'm taking today, we will not only give back your voice over the use of this land, we will also restore your access and your enjoyment".

The five tribes have said they will bring a legal case against the administration - the outcome could redefine the president's powers to use the Antiquities Act. Much of the additional land is on private property, while some is on land previously designated for timber production, Zinke said.

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The laws states that once a president designates a piece of land a national monument, it can not be changed. The details of that report will be released Tuesday, he said. 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".

"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.

The Bears Ears National Monument, designated by Obama by proclamation a year ago, now encompasses 1.35 million acres in southern Utah, including the distinctive twin mesas that give the monument its name.

Unlike national parks, which are established by Congress, the Antiquities Act allows national monuments to be designated either by Congress or the president. He also calls for a new assessment of border-safety risks at a monument in southern New Mexico.

With typical Trumpian flair, the president had hyped the announcement as "one of the great, really, events in this country in a long time".

"Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington". The President's move was met with protests in Utah and in San Francisco by environmentalists and some Native Americans.