June 9, 2023, 16:55

Biden to restore boundaries of Bears Ears, other monuments shrunk by Trump

Biden to restore boundaries of Bears Ears, other monuments shrunk by Trump

President Joe Biden will restore the original boundaries of monuments that had their size drastically reduced by former President Donald Trump, with the White House saying he “is fulfilling a key promise and upholding the longstanding principle that America’s national parks, monuments, and other protected areas are to be protected for all time and for all people.”

The Washington Post via Getty Images, FILEThe sun sets over Bears Ears National Monument in a view from the Moki Dugway, June 11, 2017, north of Mexican Hat, Utah.

Biden will restore Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments in Utah to their original boundaries and will restore protections to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine monument in Rhode Island. The monuments were created by former President Barack Obama using the Antiquities Act, which allows presidents to create national monuments. Trump was the first president to use that law to reduce protections for a monument.

MORE: Trump expected to announce he's scaling back national monument in Utah

Trump drastically reduced the size of the two Utah monuments in 2017, calling it an overreach of power to put so much land and resources under the control of the federal government. Native American tribes, conservation groups and scientists opposed the decision, saying the area needed protections to preserve the historic sites and sensitive ecosystems.

Rick Bowmer/AP, FILEThe “House on Fire” ruins are shown in Mule Canyon, near Blanding, Utah in Bears Ears National Monument, June 22, 2016. President Donald Trump’s administration in 2017 significantly downsized Bears Ears National Monuments and Grand Staircase-Escalante in southern Utah.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox confirmed reports about Biden’s move in a statement on Thursday, saying he’s disappointed about the decision.

MORE: Trump announces major changes for Bears Ears, Grand Staircase monuments

Conservation groups applauded Biden’s decision to restore the original boundaries of the monuments, saying it will preserve the important natural, historical and cultural resources in the area and shows respect to Native American tribes who first called for the creation of Bears Ears National Monument.

Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management In 2017, President Trump ordered the review of 27 national monuments, mostly in western states, by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

The White River Narrows Archeological District in The Basin and Range National Monument, contains a large concentration of prehistoric rock art, including panels over 4,000 years old. The 704,000 acres include Garden Valley and Coal Valley; the Worthington Mountains, Golden Gate Range, Seaman Mountains, and Mount Irish Range; the Hiko Narrows and White River Narrows; and the Shooting Gallery rock art site.Comments (0)Share to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article

Sourse: abcnews.go.com

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