Why Our Natural Monuments Deserve More Protection than Outdated National Monuments

Why Our Natural Monuments Deserve More Protection than Outdated National Monuments

By Sherri Goodman and Leah Emanuel On June 26, President Trump issued an executive order demanding the prosecution of “anarchists and left-wing extremists” destroying and defacing American monuments. Asserting that it is the role of the Federal Government to protect federal monuments, memorials, statues, and property to their fullest extent, the order proclaims that Federal, […]

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Trump Jr. Says the President Slashed Bears Ears Monument So The Public Could Access It

Trump Jr. Says the President Slashed Bears Ears Monument So The Public Could Access It

Donald Trump Jr. in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune over the weekend argued that by drastically reducing the size of Bear’s Ears monument his father was giving the public MORE access to public lands. The Tribune pointed out that Obama and Biden had “originally designated the Bears Ears area in southeastern Utah as a national monument, protecting 1.35 million acres from development” and that President Trump had ” at the behest of Utah’s elected Republican leaders, slashed the monument’s acreage by 85%…”

 

Why This Matters: Clearly Trump Jr. does not understand what a monument is and who it benefits — or he is just not telling the truth.

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Trump Finalizes Plans For Drilling, Mining and Grazing in Former Utah Monuments

Trump Finalizes Plans For Drilling, Mining and Grazing in Former Utah Monuments

Yesterday the Trump Administration published their “blueprints” to sell off development rights for additional oil and gas drilling, mining, grazing and road building on land that had been permanently protected as “national monuments” under Presidents Clinton and Obama.

Why This Matters:  Nearly 2 million acres of sacred and pristine lands, cultural artifacts and rock art, and fossils in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bears Ears National Monument are now at risk of permanent damage due to development and agricultural use.

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Tribes Fighting Trump Administration Policies That Harm Native Sites

Tribes Fighting Trump Administration Policies That Harm Native Sites

Native American tribes are using litigation, lobbying and protests to push back against Trump administration policies that would damage their lands and their way of life.

Why This Matters:  Native American tribes are uniquely positioned to challenge some of the Trump administration’s most aggressive moves to develop (timber harvest, mining, oil and gas drilling) on federal lands.  Often these cases are thrown out because the plaintiffs are found not to have a sufficient “interest” in or connection to the government’s action — but when it comes to the destruction of sacred sites, that argument really does not work.  And once these lands and sacred sites are spoiled by development, they cannot be restored.  

 

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Trump Administration Will Allow Off-Road Vehicles in Much of Bears Ears Monument

Trump Administration Will Allow Off-Road Vehicles in Much of Bears Ears Monument

After having shrunk the Bears Ears National Monument drastically, the Administration announced last Friday a new management plan for what remains of the monument and, according to CBS News, the agency chose the plan that only closes about 42 square miles to off-road vehicles rather than the option that would have closed nearly 184 square […]

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