Trump slashes size of Utah national monuments, faces court challenges

President Trump signed two proclamations at the Utah state Capitol, cutting the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments to less than 40 percent of their original size and opening 2 million acres (3,125 square miles) to "hunting, grazing and responsible economic development." Tribes and environmental groups said they would go to court to block what a think tank called "the largest elimination of protected areas in U.S. history."

Dems question Trump’s authority to shrink national monuments

Two Democratic senators questioned if President Trump has the authority to slash two national monuments in Utah to 40 percent of their current size, and said the USDA did not recommend removing national forest land from them. Trump is expected to announce the new boundaries for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments today during a visit to Salt Lake City.

Trump plans to reduce size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase monuments

When President Trump visits Utah in December, he will announce reductions in the size of the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears and the 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, "a move that is likely to spur an instant court battle," said the Salt Lake Tribune. Trump told Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, "I'm approving the Bears Ears recommendation for you ... " according to the senator's office.

New bill would curb size of national monuments

Rep. Rob Bishop from Utah has worked up a bill to limit new national monuments to 640 acres, with any designations larger than that requiring environmental impact statements and potentially approval from relevant state and county officials, says Deseret News. The bill is slated to come before the House Committee on Natural Resources, which Bishop chairs.

Conservation groups assail Zinke proposal to open up national monuments

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended the White House reduce the size of four national monuments in the West, and change the management of those lands and six other monuments to allow "traditional uses," such as grazing, logging, mining and commercial fishing, according to a leaked memo. Conservation and environmental groups denounced Zinke for ceding the future of invaluable federal lands to, as the Sierra Club said, "the goodwill of polluting industries."

Zinke opts for no change in Missouri Breaks National Monument

As part his review of two dozen national monuments, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he will recommend no change in 378,000-acre Upper Missouri River Breaks monument in central Montana. Zinke is under orders from President Trump to report by Labor Day whether the government should scale back the boundaries of national monuments designated since 1995 and covering more than 100,000 acres; Bears Ears in southeastern Utah was singled out for special attention by Trump.

Zinke says Bears Ears National Monument should be smaller

In an interim report to President Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in Utah should be scaled down, without suggesting the appropriate size.

Zinke tours Bears Ears, says Native Americans are ‘smart, capable’

During the first day of his tour of Bears Ears National Monument, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke disagreed with Utah officials who have claimed that Native Americans who support the monument are manipulated by special interest groups, says The Salt Lake Tribune.

Trump orders review of national monuments, Bears Ears in particular

Under an order from President Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will report by Labor Day whether the federal government was justified in preserving land in the West as national monuments over the past two decades. Trump specifically questioned the creation of the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears …

Outdoor retailers defend public lands

Some of the country’s biggest outdoor retailers, including Patagonia, say they won’t be attending one of Utah’s biggest outdoor trade shows because of the state’s stance on public lands, says High Country News. The show brings tens of millions of dollars to the state each year, while “Utah’s outdoor recreation companies employed 122,000 people and brought $12 billion into the state each year.”