President Donald Trump made a special visit to Utah to announce a sizable reduction of the Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalate National Monuments. Bears Ears will be reduced by 85% and broken up into two separate monuments, while Grand-Staircase will be reduced by 50%, and broken up into three separate monuments.
“Utah’s awesome natural beauty is exceeded only by the warmth, grace, and hospitality of its citizens,” said Trump. “I’ve come to Utah to take a very historic action to reverse Federal overreach and restore the rights of this land to your citizens.”
Trump laid out his proclamation to reduce the boundaries for both national monuments, explaining how past abuses of the Antiquities Act have harmed local communities.
He assured the public that objects of national significance deserve protection, and access which facilitates infrastructure upgrades and maintenance, ensures tribal cultural use, and protecting hunting and fishing rights.
Following his speech, the President signed both proclamations, then shook hands and signed autographs before departing.
This also means the lands will not be sold, close or shrink national parks, allow for drilling in national parks, or leave artifacts un-protected.
This unprecedented visit and proclamations has been many months and years in the making.
“It’s the people’s land.” said Curtis Wells, Grand County Council Member. “Multiple use for sustained yields – that’s how the land should be managed.”
The President ordered an extensive review of all large federal land expansions made since 1996 under the Antiquities Act—a 1906 law intended to safeguard national monuments that’s become a pretext for massive federal land grabs. That report will be released this week.