President Donald Trump is traveling to Utah Monday to announce changes to the boundaries of two national monuments in the state: Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Trump is will shrink the two monuments after reviewing recommendations from Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.
In April, Trump ordered Zinke to conduct a review of all national monuments designated since 1996 covering more than 100,000 acres. Zinke completed the review and submitted his recommendations to the White House in August.
“The recommendations I sent to the president on national monuments will maintain federal ownership of all federal land and protect the land under federal environmental regulations, and also provide a much needed change for the local communities who border and rely on these lands for hunting and fishing, economic development, traditional uses, and recreation,” Zinke said in a statement after submitting his findings.
Environmentalists have sworn to sue as soon as Trump acts to roll back any designations, a power they believe does not exist under the Antiquities Act.
“This illegal action will cement Trump’s legacy as one of the worst presidents in modern history,” Center for Biological Diversity public lands program director Randi Spivak told The Salt Lake Tribune. “Trump has no clue how much people love these sacred and irreplaceable landscapes, but he’s about to find out. He’s shown his blatant disregard for public lands, Native Americans and the law. We look forward to seeing him in court.”
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