On December 4, 2017, President Trump shrank two National Monuments – Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante in Utah, from the massive designations of the Obama Administration. Liberals were infuriated. But the facts are that Trump followed the LAW in reducing the size of the monuments.
The Law: Antiquities Act
The American Antiquities Act requires that objects be of historic or scientific interest, that the area reserved to protect the objects be the smallest area compatible, and that monuments be designated on Federal land only.
Obama’s designation at the Bears Ears National monument included State Land and Private land in the 1.5 million acres. President Trump has reduced that to Federal Lands only, shrinking it back to 228,784, as it should have been in the first place.
Grand Escalante Monument is being modified to 1,006,341 acres, or three units of Federal land.
Of course all of us want to preserve beautiful areas for the future of our children, but keeping them locked away so that no one can enjoy them is wrong.
Did the Trump Administration bother to ask the people? YES. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke met with state, local and tribal leaders on 27 monuments at least 60 times, and physically viewed them himself with the leaders… by horseback in some cases. The review is limited to the Monuments designated under the 1996 Antiquities Act.
Zinke has been systematically looking at National monuments around the country, evaluating whether Federal overreach was involved. Some he has not recommended for changes, several others are open for changes. He has recommended many federal lands be opened to hunting, fishing, and recreation once again.
Presidents have modified National Monuments 18 times in the past- so, no, Trump isn’t doing anything unusual. You can read his entire Executive Order at this link.
Every single effort on the part of Progressives is meant to control your life. Obama worked hard to force Americans to stay away from public lands, locking off vast segments to any private use whatsoever. Whether it’s gun control or land grabs, their purpose is to keep you from doing anything at all. Keep that in mind when you listen to any liberal viewpoint on any subject.
— Secretary Ryan Zinke (@SecretaryZinke) December 4, 2017