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Zinke National Monuments

Trump’s expected to announce a plan to shrink two national monuments Monday


Updated December 04, 2017 02:26 PM EST

President Trump on Monday is expected to announce his administration’s plans for shrinking two national monuments in Utah, according to NBC News.

NBC News on Monday reported that Trump will reveal the strategy for reducing the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments while visiting Utah.

A source familiar with the issue on Monday told NBC News about Trump’s expected announcement.

The predicted move would come two days after thousands of people gathered at Utah’s state Capitol in Salt Lake City to protect against the anticipated changes.

The expected announcement also mirrors a recommendation from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke last August.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press and The Washington Post last week showed that Trump’s administration plans on significantly downsizing both monuments.

Trump’s administration intends on reducing the 1.3 million-acre Bears Ears monument by approximately 85 percent.

The plan for Grand Staircase-Escalante, meanwhile, aims to reduce that national monument by roughly half.

Former President Barack Obama designated Bears Ears as a national monument in 2016 in an attempt at protecting land there that several Native American tribes view as sacred.

Obama’s decision angered many Republicans and rural residents in Utah, however, who saw it as federal overreach and an obstacle to local energy development.

People protesting Trump’s expected alterations last Saturday wielded signs telling the president he is making “a monumental mistake.”

“We need places like Bears Ears where the land remains largely untouched,” one speaker, Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch, said.

“Where the plants remain pure [and] the minerals remain pure because that affects the potency of our prayers and the potency of our ceremonies,” she added.

San Juan County Commissioner Bruce Adams, meanwhile, was among Trump’s supports who gathered at a courthouse in Monticello, Utah last Saturday.

Adams said “control and overreach of the federal government” has impacted the area’s rural residents.

“We want the land to remain pretty much the way it is,” he said. “We feel like we’ve had a big target on our back.”

“They’ve tried to reduce extraction in our county where it makes sense,” Adams added of San Juan County.

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