Was It 'Illegal' For Trump To Shrink Utah's Monuments? The Battle Begins

Pat Bagley

Using the same reasoning as for reducing the size of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Trump wants to cut down the approximately 1.35 million acres, designated as federally protected land by former President Barack Obama on December 28, 2016, by over 1.15 million acres, down to only 201,876 acres.

Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeDem pushes for oversight on Trump officials using private jets Lack of transparency in national monuments review a disservice to Americans Trump to shrink national monuments next week: report MORE has recommended President Trump shrink the boundaries of two more national monuments, a day after rolling back protected areas in Utah. "Our land needs to be protected", said Johnson.

In a statement Monday, NARF said: "President Trump's action to revoke and replace the Bears Ears National Monument is not only an attack on the five sovereign nations with deep ties to the Bears Ears region, it is a complete violation of the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution". The coalition includes the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Indian Tribe, all of whom consider many sites within Bears Ears sacred. "We've fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we'll continue that fight in the courts". As shown with Trump changing his opinion on trophy hunting after receiving widespread public backlash, so too can public opinion change the future of these national monuments.

Another decision made by President Donald Trump is being taken to court. PLEASE make your voice heard and sign the petition, asking the President to reconsider this decision and put conservation of wildlife, natural lands, and cultural history ahead of financial interests. As we've argued before, states should not take over public lands held in trust by the government for all of us. But it also gave presidents the authority to create national monuments on their own without Congress. "The fight really just starts today", said Groene. These lands have incredible healing qualities and peace-based qualities.

Bears Ears is "where tribal traditional leaders and medicine people go to conduct ceremonies, collect herbs for medicinal purposes, and practice healing rituals stemming from time immemorial, as demonstrated through tribal creation stories", according to the coalition's website. "It's ironic that these lands and the protections they now have face destruction".

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Andrew Black, a Presbyterian pastor and director of community relations, education, and veterans outreach for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, organized a trip last month for almost 30 Christian and Jewish clergy members to meet with tribal leaders at Bears Ears.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, created by Bill Clinton in 1996, will be downsized from 1.9 million acres to 1 million acres.

If Trump could articulate a sensible reason for his actions, he would deserve a listen.

"My faith calls me to find ways to support life that belongs to God", she said.

But the State of Utah and Senator Hatch have decided what kind of State they want, and the President is happy to oblige. Tom Udall, D-N.M., called it "pure politics" during Friday's press call.

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