Trump to Issue Orders Ripping Apart Utah National Monuments

WASHINGTON – President Trump is set to issue orders from Salt Lake City today abolishing Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, two of the nation’s most treasured public lands.  The move would strip essential protections from more than 2 million acres of land and create 5 token designations in place of these iconic monuments. It would also undo historic plans for tribal co-management of Bears Ears.

Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, made the following statement:

“This is unprecedented—and it’s illegal. 

“Presidents use the Antiquities Act to create national monuments and protect our special lands and waters for future generations.  This president thinks he can use it to destroy them, grabbing the iconic landscapes and marine areas all Americans own, and handing them over to polluters and private interests. He does not have that authority. We will stand up for the millions of people who’ve asked the Trump administration to preserve—and not rip apart—our national monuments.

“What’s next, President Trump—the Grand Canyon?  See you in court.”

Rhea Suh offers more on Trump’s attack on our national treasures in this blog.

Here are three maps analyzing potential oil and gas, coal and uranium reserves in these areas, created by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

An NRDC video on Bears Ears can be found here.

NRDC’s report, “America’s Monuments: Worth the Fight,” on how our monuments benefit the economy and preserve our heritage, wildlife and history, can be found here.

An interactive NRDC story map of the national monuments Secretary Zinke reviewed can be found here

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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