Trump Wants to Drastically Shrink These National Monuments

Trump Wants to Drastically Shrink These National Monuments

Trump Wants to Drastically Shrink These National Monuments

The federal government controls about two thirds of Utah.

"I understand fundraising for these special interest groups", Zinke said. What is surprising is that they seem to think they can get away with it.

The message Patagonia blared across its website Monday was stark and clear: "The President Stole Your Land", it read.

Other outdoor retailers are also publicly speaking out over Trump's actions. "And sound public policy is not based on threats of lawsuits, it's doing what's right".

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The company Patagonia-which already campaigns to protect swathes of the eponymous wilds in Argentina and Chile-said it would file a lawsuit against the Trump Administration in partnership with local community and environmental groups. The court cases are likely to drag on for years.

President Trump speaks at the Utah State Capitol Monday before to signing a proclamation to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

"There is nothing in the Antiquities Act that authorizes a president to modify a national monument once it's been designated." says Ethel Branch, attorney general for the Navajo Nation, one of the tribes that is suing the administration.

"Reducing the size of monument would help free up a lot of land that has been under oppression", said Mike Noel, a state representative from Kane County, more than half of which is occupied by Grand Staircase. Grand Staircase contains scenic cliffs, canyons, waterfalls and arches - and one of the nation's largest known coal reserves.

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The other monument Trump is targeting, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, was designated by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

Zinke is also recommending Trump change management plans for six other monuments, allowing for additional grazing, ranching, fishing, hunting, and other activities in those locations.

The interior secretary's plan would scale back Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou, in addition to the two Utah sites.

Zinke told reporters Tuesday he is "fairly confident" Trump will accept his recommendations. Gold Butte, between Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon, protects almost 300,000 acres of desert landscapes featuring rock art, sandstone towers and wildlife habitat for the threatened Mojave Desert tortoise and other species.

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Zinke is also proposing Trump create three monuments: at Camp Nelson, an 1863 Union Army site in Kentucky; the Jackson, Mississippi home of civil rights leader Medgar Evers; and the Badger II Medicine Area, a 130,000-acre section of the Lewis and Clark National Forest in his home state of Montana. "We know how to fight and we will fight to defend Bears Ears", Filfred said.

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