In Utah, 2 Huge Monuments Just Became 5 Small Ones
President Trump undoes designations of Obama, Clinton, triggering a legal fight
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2017 1:50 PM CST
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This file photo shows Arch Canyon within Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.   (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File)
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(Newser) – President Trump traveled to Utah on Monday and delivered news dreaded by environmentalists and Native American groups but praised by those who accuse the federal government of overreach. Trump announced he is reducing the size of two national monuments spanning millions of acres in Utah—Bears Ears, which was so designated by President Obama, and Grand Staircase-Escalante, designated by President Clinton. The controversial move is being immediately challenged in court by groups questioning Trump's authority to undo the moves of his predecessors, reports the New York Times. Details and developments:

  • The cuts: Bears Ears is shrinking by 1.1 million acres and Grand Staircase by more than 800,000 acres. That adds up to what the Washington Post calls "the largest reduction of public lands protection in US history." The move opens the lands up for energy exploration and other uses.

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