Thousands of people in Utah protest Trump’s plans to reduce national monuments –

Thousands of people in Utah protest Trump’s plans to reduce national monuments


More than 5,000 angry protesters gathered outside the state capital in Salt Lake City on Saturday to protest against Donald Trump's expected plans to hand out federal public lands in Utah and open up what remains for drilling and mining.

Trump visits on Monday, the state will announce the details of the changes it plans to impose on the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah and the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument in the south-central section of the state. The president does not plan to visit the sites, nor spend the night, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Five Native American tribes claim to file a lawsuit after Trump announces his decision.

Bears Ears is sacred to the Navajos. The impressive Grand Staircase-Escalante monument houses fossils of dinosaurs that are millions of years old and are believed to be among the most important collections in the world. Paleontologist Alan Titus described the Kaiparowits plateau, which is part of the monument, as a rock story of "the life and times of dinosaurs during their swan song, the end of the dinosaur era" between 100 and 75 million years.

Trump plans to reduce the Bears Ears National Monument by a staggering 85 percent (from 1.35 million acres to 201,000 acres) and reduce Grand Staircase-Escalante by half (from 1.9 million to 997,000), according to documents obtained by The Washington Post .

"This is really a monumental mistake," Representative Patrice Arent (D-Utah) told the protesters, KSL-TV Channel 5 reported. "These national treasures are owned by all Americans and future generations We will not allow our sacred elements to disintegrate and reduce. "

Today the Navajo Nation's Attorney General Ethel Branch also reiterated: the President has no authority to rescind or diminish national monuments. #StandWithBearsEars @WhiteHouse @POTUS #MonumentsForAll

– Protect Bears Ears (@savebearsears) December 2, 2017 [19659013] What remains of the monuments will probably open up to commercial interests, including grazing, logging, coal mining and drilling.

The details of the plans have not been published publicly. But recommendations to reduce at least four national monuments in the West were delineated in a Zinke note obtained in September by The Washington Post. Ironically, Zinke, Montana's home state probably gets a new national monument, while other states will see theirs reduced. Zinke supports a new 200-square-mile national monument in the Badger-Two Medicine area in northwestern Montana.

The objective of reducing public lands and eliminating many protections was outlined in an executive order signed by Trump in April asking for a review of 27 national monuments. He has destroyed the beloved public lands as a "mbadive appropriation of land" by the federal government.

Native tribes and environmentalists in the United States challenge Trump's changes.

"The tribes see it as an affront to themselves and their own self-determination," Natalie Landreth, a senior attorney with the Native American Rights Fund, told The Salt Lake Tribune. "All of us, the five tribes, will be jointly suing the day [Trump] makes an announcement"

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