#1 Trump announces he will shrink Bears Ears, Grand Staircase monuments in Utah by Cincinnatus 05.12.2017 00:53


President Trump on Monday afternoon announced he will shrink Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, framing the decision as a sharp rebuke of former President Barack Obama's use of executive authority to set aside public land for protection.

"With the action taken today we will not only give back your voice to use of the land, we will also restore your access and enjoyment," Trump said during a ceremony at the state capitol in Salt Lake City. "Public lands will once again be for public use. Families and communities of Utah know and love this land the best, and you know the best how to take care of your land and how to conserve this land for many generations to come."

He then signed two proclamations to shrink the monuments. He is reducing the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears, established by Obama, to 201,876 acres, and Grand Staircase, created by former President Bill Clinton in 1996, from 1.7 million acres to 1 million.

Trump did not visit the monuments themselves, which are hours away from the capitol. If the moves survive anticipated legal challenges, they would represent the largest removal of national monument protection in U.S. history.

Obama created Bears Ears just before he left office, protecting a vast area of mesas and canyons in Utah's poorest county. It is an area in the southeastern part of the state that five Native American tribes consider sacred and depend on for sustenance and cultural tradition.

Trump, shortly after his inauguration, ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to undertake a review of 27 national monuments created since 1996. In August, Zinke delivered the report to Trump, recommending he reduce the size of six of those monuments, including the two in Utah. Zinke told reporters he will make the report public Tuesday



Well done, Mr President. Both Obama and Clinton were repudiated in Utah big time, and both punished the state by putting productive land out of use. President Trump just corrected their peevish behavior.

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