GOP Rep Says ‘Very Strong Possibility’ That Trump Breaks Up Utah’s National Monuments

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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President Donald Trump may split Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments into several parts each, GOP Rep. Rob Bishop said in a radio interview Monday.

After conducting a four-month review of 22 national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended that Trump alter 10 designations. Zinke suggested rolling back four of those, including Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase Escalante, according to The Washington Post.

Breaking up Utah’s monuments “is a very strong possibility,” Bishop told KSL host Doug Wright. “Nothing is finalized yet, so you can’t make assumptions of what will or will not be there. But you could easily do that and have, like in Grand Staircase if it was divided into two or three different land areas, easier management practices that would facilitate the use of that land to a much higher degree for people who want to recreate out there.”

“I think the rough draft says in all of these monuments, there were things that should have been done differently,” Bishop added. “I think, one way or another, we are going to see something different in all these monuments.”

Zinke seemingly wants monuments shrunk or modified to provide for “traditional uses” of the land.

“It appears that certain monuments were designated to prevent economic activity such as grazing, mining and timber production rather than to protect specific objects,” the draft said.

Environmentalists are slamming Zinke’s national monument review and recommendations since WaPo published the leaked draft.

“Zinke claims he wants to perpetuate traditional uses, but he’s actually promoting traditional abuses. Logging, mining, grazing, fracking and drilling destroy wildlife habitat and objects of scientific and cultural importance,” Center for Biological Diversity’s public lands program director Randi Spivak said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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