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Trump Shaves 2 Million Acres Off Southern Utah Monuments

Update 12:35 PM MST — Pres. Donald Trump has signed two presidential proclamations, one to modify Bears Ears and another for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

"Public lands will once again be for public use — no one values the splendor of Utah more than you do..." Said Pres. Trump.

The proclamations reduce the overall size of both monuments, while breaking Grand Staircase-Escalante into three units, and Bears Ears into two separate units. See maps and facts below.

Benm Gsenm Maps and Facts by KUER News on Scribd

Supporters of the proclamation say that it gives a voice back to rural Americans.

12:00 PM MST — Pres. Trump in in Utah today, where he's expected to announce sharp reductions to two National Monuments in Southern Utah — Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante.

Early reports indicate the president could reduce both monuments by more than half their original size, a change long sought by anti-monument activists and Utah's Republican elected officials.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante was created by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Bear Ears was designated just last year by President Barack Obama toward the end of his term. 

Trump's actions will likely to trigger a massive legal battle between the administration and pro-monument supporters, including environmental groups and the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, which lobbied for the designation. 

Stay tuned to KUER's All Things Considered for more updates, and follow our reporters Judy Fahys, Lee Hale and Julia Ritchey on Twitter. 

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.
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