Tue. May 17th, 2022

President Joe Biden is expected to sign three proclamations restoring protection of the Trump administration for the Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Northeast Canyons and Seamount national monuments, state and federal officials confirmed Thursday.

The Biden administration said in a note that this move is part of the effort to “better protect, preserve and restore the lands and waters that maintain community health and strengthen our economy.”

President Donald Trump had erased or lifted restrictions on all three national monuments to allow development, mining, ranching, drilling and fishing.

In late 2017, Trump signed a directive that sharply reduced Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in southern Utah by 1.23 million acres out of a total of 3.25 million acres, all of which had been protected by monument status. .

The Bears Ears were designated by President Barack Obama in 2016, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante was designated by the Clinton administration in 1996. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the Atlantic Ocean’s first marine monument, off the coast of New England, was designated by Obama in 2016 , and Trump last year signed an order to allow commercial fishing within its borders.

Environmentalists and Native American tribes had sued the Trump administration over the directives and have pressured Biden to restore protection.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, praised the decision in a statement, saying “it is time to put Trump’s cynical actions in hindsight.”

The bid’s decision to restore full federal protection “demonstrates this administration’s commitment to preserving our public lands and respecting the voices of indigenous peoples,” Grijalva said.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, confirmed the decision to expand the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments in a statement Thursday, but sharply criticized the administration for not consulting its office to “end the perpetual expansion and shrinkage of those monuments and bring security to their management. “

“These decisions clearly show that the administration is unwilling to cooperate with and listen to those most affected by their decisions. We remain hopeful that a long-term solution will be reached in the future and that the exhausting political instability over Utah’s public areas can come to an end, “Cox said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.