Trump scales back two national monuments in Utah, drawing praise and protests

Trump’s transfer to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante nationwide monuments by greater than 1.1 million acres and greater than 800,000 acres, respectively, instantly sparked an outpouring of reward from conservative lawmakers in addition to activists’ protests outdoors the White Home and in Utah. It additionally plunges the Trump administration into uncharted authorized territory since no president has sought to switch monuments established underneath the 1906 Antiquities Act in additional than half a century.

His choice removes about eighty five % of the designation of Bears Ears and almost forty six % of that for Grand Staircase-Escalante, land that probably might now be leased for power exploration or opened for particular actions corresponding to motor vehicle use.

Trump informed a rally in Salt Lake Metropolis that he got here to “reverse federal overreach” and took dramatic motion “as a result of some individuals assume that the pure assets of Utah must be managed by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats situated in Washington. And guess what? They’re flawed.”

“They do not know your land, and really, they do not care in your land such as you do,” he added. “However any further, that will not matter.”

Conservatives have lengthy sought to curb a president’s unilateral energy to safeguard federal lands and waters beneath the regulation, a apply that each Democrats and Republicans have pursued because it was enacted underneath Theodore Roosevelt. The difficulty has been a specific flash level within the West, the place some native residents really feel the federal authorities already imposes too many restrictions on improvement and others, together with tribal officers, really feel larger protections of historic websites are wanted.

Even earlier than Trump made the announcement as a part of a day journey to the state, Nationwide Cattlemen’s Beef Affiliation Craig Uden was hailing the resized designations. Whereas grazing has continued on each monuments, in addition to on others, Uden stated ranchers couldn’t have higher enter into how they’re managed.

“We’re grateful that at present’s motion will permit ranchers to renew their position as accountable stewards of the land and drivers of rural economies,” he stated.

Republicans on the president’s rally applauded him and his deputies for heeding their considerations. “President Trump listened to us,” Utah Home Speaker Greg Hughes stated. “We aren’t a flyover state.”

However a collection of protests that opponents started over the weekend, attracting hundreds, continued Monday on the Utah Capitol. About 300 demonstrators gathered earlier than Trump…

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