Trump's Cut To Utah Monuments Sparks Protests And Lawsuits

Trump's Cut To Utah Monuments Sparks Protests And Lawsuits

The other would cut to the state's 1.9 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument created by President Bill Clinton in 1996 almost in half, splitting it into three areas.

- Outdoor gear company Patagonia says it will take legal action over President Trump's move to dramatically shrink two national monuments in Utah.

When the administration began its controversial review of 27 large monuments, including Utah's Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, it said the Act needed to be tested. Using the same reasoning as for reducing the size of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Trump wants to cut down the approximately 1.35 million acres, designated as federally protected land by former President Barack Obama on December 28, 2016, by over 1.15 million acres, down to only 201,876 acres. That law requires presidents to limit the monument designation to "the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected". Documents leaked last week indicate that Bears Ears National Monument may be cut by 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument may be shrunk by half.

The California-based Patagonia plans to sue the president, according to both its founder, Yvon Chouinard, and the CEO Rose Marcario: "We've fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we'll continue that fight in the courts", Marcario said in a statement Monday.

A 13th century masonry structure at an Ancestral Puebloan archaeological site know as Cave Towers is seen in Bears Ears National Monument in the Four Corners region Utah

The legality of Trump's decision and of the ensuing lawsuits remains murky, as they center on the rarely used Antiquities Act signed into law by former President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906.

Trump, he says, "listened to the local people, even though they weren't millions of voters, only 15,000 people in our community". Trump is the first president to shrink a monument in decades.

Zinke told reporters Tuesday he is "fairly confident" Trump will accept his recommendations.

"The president stole your land", reads the message posted on the Patagonia homepage, calling the president's decision "illegal".

Читайте также: Native Americans Outraged Over Trump 'Pocahontas' Comments

REI changed its homepage to feature a large photo of Bears Ears National Monument with the words "We ❤ Our Public Lands" written across it.

"I've become an expert in monuments", President Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said at the Utah capitol Monday.

Unlike national parks, which are established by Congress, the Antiquities Act allows national monuments to be designated either by Congress or the president.

With typical Trumpian flair, the president had hyped the announcement as "one of the great, really, events in this country in a long time".

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Outside, protesters held signs saying "Trump a monumental mistake" and "Tiny hands off our lands". The President's move was met with protests in Utah and in San Francisco by environmentalists and some Native Americans.

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