In Utah, Trump Announces Dramatic Decreases In Size To State's National Monuments

President Donald Trump speaks at the Utah State Capitol after he called for a 90 percent reduction in the size of Utah's Bears Ears National Monument and 50 percent reduction to the state's Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Salt L

Trump rescinds national monument protections on 1.9 million acres of Utah canyon land

The retailer says it plans to sue the Trump administration, after the announcement that two national monuments will be drastically reduced in size.

Audio will be available later today.

U.S. President Donald Trump has smartly lowered the size of national monuments on Monday that are located in Utah by around two million acres.

It's a move supported by Utah's top Republican officials, but opposed by tribes and environmental groups. While past presidents have used the Antiquities Act to protect unique lands and cultural sites in America, Trump is instead mangling the law, opening this national monument to coal mining instead of protecting its scientific, historic, and wild heritage.

While President Trump explained that modifying these landmarks would open land up to citizens and American businesses, Patagonia and REI are arguing that this decision would instead deplete both national monuments, prevent people from using public lands for recreational activities and harm the prosperity of the US outdoor industry.

Trump's decision is expected to spark a protracted legal battle over the president's authority to set aside land for conservation, and the rights of states and industries to access protected land. "In that light, we believe there is a compelling case to maintain the integrity of our existing national monuments".

In a statement Monday, Heidi McIntosh from Earthjustice's Rocky Mountains office said: "President Trump has perpetrated a bad violation of America's public lands and heritage by going after this dinosaur treasure trove".

President Trump signs proclamations shrinking Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments Monday. Outdoor retailer Patagonia also signaled it would file suit this week. "I have seen these impacts myself - and as an American, I am ashamed we have let this happen". The company cites statistics estimating that the outdoor recreation industry employs 7.6 million jobs and generates $887 million in economic activity - outpacing the jobs and spending generated by the US fossil fuels sector.

"These abuses of the Antiquities Act give enormous power to faraway bureaucrats at the expense of the people who actually live here, work here, and make this place their home". And we'll use every tool available and we will prevail.

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