On December 4th President Trump announced that he is drastically reducing the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah. The extent of the dismemberment of these invaluable national monuments is greater than anticipated when the administration announced a “review” of 27 national monuments last spring. More than 1.1 million acres were removed from Bears Ears, about an 85% reduction in size. Grand Staircase-Escalante was reduced by about 46% or 800,000 acres.
Utah politicians were thrilled, saying Washington bureaucrats shouldn’t be controlling their land. But it’s not “their” land; it’s federal land; it belongs to all Americans. Local ranchers will get greater access to public land for personal gain, and it’s likely that some areas removed from the monuments will be made available for new coal mining and oil drilling.
Appeals from almost three million Americans, including SIAN members responding to our action alerts, fell on deaf ears, which is typical for this administration. They have a predetermined agenda on every issue and disdain public opinion.
Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior from 1993 to 2001, wrote an excellent column recently in the New York Times (link to the column, see below) describing the unprecedented ruin the President and his minions are causing to the nation’s precious lands and irreplaceable natural resources.
You can read the President’s lengthy proclamations for each monument under “briefing room” on the White House website. Lawsuits to try to block the proclamations are inevitable. That may delay final action until after 2020 when a responsible president may assume office.
For More information: click this link to Babbitt column.
SIAN Contact: Dick Wildermann: firstname.lastname@example.org