Biden to restore Trump-cut land to Utah national monuments

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Choo Choo

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October 08, 2021

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Joe Biden will restore land to Utah national monuments that the Trump administration cut.

Though the administration has not yet made the announcement, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox released a statement Thursday expressing disappointment in the move. President Donald Trump reduced Bears Ears by 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante by 50%.

“We expected and hoped for closer collaboration between our state and national leaders, especially on matters that directly impact Utah and our citizens,” Cox said. “The president’s decision to enlarge the monuments again is a tragic missed opportunity — it fails to provide certainty as well as the funding for law enforcement, research, and other protections which the monuments need and which only congressional action can offer.”

The two monuments are sacred to local Native American tribes and contain archaeological remains like rock paintings that date back 13,000 years. Designation as a monument protects the land from development.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat and the progressive chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said Biden’s move “shows this administration’s commitment to conserving our public lands and respecting the voices of Indigenous Peoples.”

“It’s time to put Trump’s cynical actions in the rear-view mirror, restore rightful protections, and restart the Bears Ears co-mana….

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