Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Trump scales back 2 big Utah national monuments

Trump scales back 2 big Utah national monuments

President Trump says there's been "a massive federal land grab" which has taken away state's rights.

President Donald Trump announced today that he is drastically cutting Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

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When President Obama designated Bears Ears a national monument previous year, it was a huge victory for five Utah tribes - the Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe, Hopi, and the Pueblo of Zuni - who came together in 2015 to push for the preservation of what they estimate are 100,000 cultural and ancestral sites, some dating back to 1300 AD, in the region.

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If the administration is successful, it would mean the biggest rollback of public land in the nation's history.

"It is short-sighted for the president to elevate the fleeting value derived from extracting a little more oil or coal from these lands over the timeless value gained by preserving America's most precious places for wildlife and our families for generations to come". Dan Smuts, the Senior Director of the Pacific Region Wilderness Society worries what happened in Utah could set a precedent. Several tribal groups are expected to take the lead on a legal challenge.

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