Trump and Monuments

Trump and Monuments

Rick Worthington
Rick Worthington
President Trump recently signed an executive order reducing the size of Bears Ears and Grande Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah.

Trump, by signing two presidential proclamations on Monday, shrunk the size of Bears Ears National Monument by more than 80% and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by roughly 45%, fundamentally reshaping the two large national monuments.

The proclamations split the two national monuments into several smaller sections. Bears Ears will be shrunk from 1.35 million acres to 228,337 acres, according to the spokesperson for Interior, and split into two separate monument sections. Grand Staircase-Escalante, a monument designated by President Bill Clinton, will be split into three sections and shrunk from 1.9 million acres to just about 1 million acres.

Trump slammed past administrations -- namely Clinton's and President Barack Obama's -- for what he called "federal overreach." The two former Democratic president designated Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante for protection, hoping to preserve their culture, history and natural beauty.

Past administrations, Trump said, thought "the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They are wrong."

"The families and communities of Utah know and love this land the best and you know the best how to take care of your land," Trump said. "You know how to protect it. And you know best how to conserve this land for many, many generations to come."

Locals in the area saw the designations as nothing more than a 3-million-acre federal land grab. The drillers, miners and frackers who were shut out by Clinton's and Obama's use of the Antiquities Act would have new leases on life. Sen. Orrin Hatch and his fellow Utah Republicans would have a major victory to celebrate.

Ranchers are among those applauding the President in his reduction of the two National Parks.

Thru a statement, the Idaho Cattle Association says: Cattlemen applaud the White House's plan. The decision is a clear win for rural communities who have suffered the consequences of egregious federal overreach.

The President's decision means that traditional uses of the land, including livestock grazing, will be restored on public land in Utah.

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