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USA: Trump shrinks two huge national monuments in Utah

President United States, Donald Trump on Monday extremely scaled back two national monuments established in Utah by his Democratic predecessors, the largest reduction of public lands protection in U.S. history. Trump’s move to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments by more than 1.1 million acres and more than 800,000 acres, respectively, immediately sparked an outpouring of praise from conservative lawmakers as well as activists’ protests outside the White House and in Utah. It also plunges the Trump administration into uncharted legal territory since no president has sought to modify monuments established under the 1906 Antiquities Act in more than half a century. His decision removes about 85% of the designation of Bears Ears and nearly 46% of that for Grand Staircase-Escalante, land that potentially could now be leased for energy exploration or opened for specific activities such as motorized vehicle use.
Trump told a rally in Salt Lake City that he came to “reverse federal over-reach” and took a play action “because some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They’re wrong.”
“They don’t know your land, and truly, they don’t care for your land like you do,” he added. “But from now on, that won’t matter.”

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