President Donald Trump reduced the size of two national monuments in Utah that comprise millions of acres of protected land: Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante. The move is part of a review of all national monuments designated since 1996.
How much land is affected?
Bears Ears National Monument, which was created by President Barack Obama in 2016, is shrinking from 1.35 million protected acres to 200,000. Grand Staircase-Escalante will be reduced to half its current size to include a million acres in three zones.
Who’s happy about this?
Utah lawmakers, who have long fought for more state control over the land. Around two-thirds of the land in Utah is controlled by the federal government.
And who’s not?
Environmental activists who want the land protected from development and the Native American groups who lobbied for years for the protections to be put in place.
The mainstream media reaction is that Trump hates the environment. But that’s not what this decision was about – it was a somewhat conservative move to return the land to the state instead of keeping so much of it under federal control.
“Often, the local community actually needs the land to make things like, I don’t know, a living,” Glenn said sarcastically.