National Monuments

The Future of America's National Monuments

Dec 7, 2017
US Bureau of Land Management

President Trump announced the decision to shrink the Bears Ears, a sacred tribal site in Utah, and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments by more than 1.1 million acres and more than 800,000 acres, respectively. Today we examine the decision, its impact, and what that means for the future of national monuments in the United States in the Trump Era and beyond.

President Trump has dramatically scaled back two national land monuments in Utah. The administration and Republican leaders in Utah say taking the land out of the hands of the federal government will allow the state to decide what to do with it, including protecting some areas and possibly allowing development in others.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

On a visit to Utah on Monday, President Trump announced his proclamations dramatically shrinking the size of the state's two massive national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Taken together, Trump's orders mark the largest reversal of national monument protections in U.S. history.

The change has already been challenged in court by conservation groups.

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order Wednesday that could end up shrinking — or even nullifying — some large federal national monuments on protected public lands, as established since the Clinton administration.