Shrinking 2 national monuments in Utah reverses 'federal overreach'

President Trump speaks prior to signing a Presidential Proclamation shrinking Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City

View Slideshow

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. Air Force one is expected to touch down at 10:50 the Air National Guard Base on the east side of the Salt Lake International Airport.

While in Salt Lake City on Monday, Trump is expected to announce he's shrinking the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

Both parks, or monuments as they are called, are in the dramatic Southern Utah red rock country. He made the announcement at the State Capitol, where hundreds of people who oppose the announcement had lined up in Monday's wintry weather hours before Trump was scheduled to arrive.

Trump said at the time that he had spoken to state and local leaders "who are gravely concerned about this massive federal land grab".

The Antiquities Act of 1906 gives the president authority to establish national monuments, largely to thwart looting of archaeological sites. Bears Ears was established by President Obama in 2016, while Grand Staircase-Escalante was established in 1996 by President Clinton.

Trump signed an executive order in April asking for a review of his predecessors' use of the to designate federal lands as national monuments. And it's gotten worse and worse and worse, and now we're going to free it up, which is what should have happened in the first place. Environmental and most tribal groups have condemned the decision and promised to fight it in court, questioning whether the president can rescind a national monument without an act of Congress. That designation can protect those lands from development, mining and drilling.

Latest News