Trump slashes two national monuments with a pen stroke

Trump slashes two national monuments with a pen stroke

- in US

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced the reduction of two national monuments in Utah on Monday, lambasting past administrations for overreach in a decision likely to touch off a battle with conservation groups and Native American tribes.

Bears Ears, designated by President Barack Obama, was significantly downsized, from about 1.3 million acres to about 220,000 acres of federally protected land. And Grand Staircase-Escalante, designated by the Clinton administration, will go from 1.9 million acres to a little over 1 million acres.

Trump excoriated anyone who believes “that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington.”

“Guess what? They’re wrong,” he told a crowd at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended the changes, which Trump made official Monday with two presidential proclamations.

Image: President Trump delivers speech at Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City

President Donald Trump speaks at the Utah State Capitol, where he announced big cuts to Utah’s sprawling wilderness national monuments, in Salt Lake City on Dec. 4, 2017.