Trump Dramatically Reduces Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

With two new presidential proclamations, Trumps modifies the designations of two of Utah's national monuments.

In the newest development in what has been a widely publicized and highly controversial subject over the past year, President Trump has followed through on his promise to drastically reduce the amount of land protected in two of Southern Utah's national monuments with these two Presidential Proclamations: Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.

"By Trump's order, Bears Ears National Monument will go from roughly 1.3 million acres to just 220,000 — only about 15 percent of its original size. And Grand Staircase will be diminished by roughly half, from its nearly 1.9 million acres to about 1 million." - Kirk Siegler, NPR

This is a relatively gray area legally, as there is no precedent for a president shrinking a large monument, and several organizations and individuals have already announced plans to sue. You can read the lawsuit from five Native American tribes here.

 

We believe public lands are vital resources to the outdoors community and that they should be protected. Here's why:

 

It's where we play. Even if you didn't know it, chances are that one of your favorite hikes, climbing trips or kayak adventures was on public land. If public lands are sold to and managed by private organizations (which is likely to happen if the state owns them), they could be completely closed to recreation. 

Public lands are culturally significant for Native American tribes. Bears Ears in particular is home to large areas of sacred land and over 100,000 archeological sites and ruins.

The outdoors industry is a multibillion-dollar industry and shutting down major recreation areas, like national monuments, could result in severe damage to local economies that rely on business from visitors.  

The people have spoken. During the public comment period where citizens were free to voice their support or disapproval of Trump's plan to review and potentially shrink national monuments designated after 1996, the vast majority showed support for keeping and protecting America's national monuments.

 

What can you do to help?

 

Below are a few places you can go to support the protection of our public lands. The best thing you can do is stay informed and make your voice heard whenever the opportunity arises. 

Donate to the Bears Ears Education Center - Friends of Cedar Mesa are working to build a facility that will educate visitors about the region and how to explore responsibly. 

Write a letter to President Trump

Write a letter to Congress

Tweet to President Trump

 

For more information head to:

Trump Slashes Size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Monuments

Trump Orders Largest National Monument Reduction in U.S. History


Cover photo: Phill Monson, The Rimrock Hoodoos in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Published: December 4, 2017

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