Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
World | By Camille Rivera

Trump expected to scale back national monuments during Utah visit

Trump expected to scale back national monuments during Utah visit

President Trump will on Monday announce plans to slash the size of two USA national parks, provoking fury from environmentalists, native american tribes and conservationists.

He added that he would take Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's recommendation and "sign two presidential proclamations" that will "modify the national monuments designation of both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante".

Audio will be available later today. "And guess what? They are wrong".

Demonstrators at the Capitol held signs that said "Utah stands with Bears Ears" and "Keep your tiny hands off our public lands".

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But tribal leaders representing the five tribes that pushed for the creation of the monument, and who now manage it, said they will take the Trump administration to court.

He also called for a 50 percent cut to the state's 1.9 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument created by President Bill Clinton in 1996, splitting it into three areas.

Trump said Monday while leaving the White House that the monument announcement is "something that the state of Utah and others have wanted to be done for many, many years". He said the decision would "give back your voice".

Patagonia President and CEO Rose Marcario said the outdoor-apparel company will join an expected court fight against the monument reduction, which she described as the "largest elimination of protected land in American history".

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Unlike national parks that can only be created by an act of Congress, national monuments can be designated unilaterally by presidents under the century-old Antiquities Act, a law meant to protect sacred sites, artifacts and historical objects.

Trump signed an executive order in April asking for a review of his predecessors' use of the to designate federal lands as national monuments.

Zinke has also recommended that Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou monuments be reduced in size, though details remain unclear.

Democrats and environmentalists have opposed the changes, accusing Trump and Zinke of engaging in a secretive process aimed at helping industry groups that have donated to Republican political campaigns.

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