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Supporters, Opponents React To Plans For Shrunken National Monuments in Utah

Judy Fahys
Areas like this, which contain small, hidden archaeological sites rather than big, showy ones, are likely to be cut out of the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument. Some people think that's a good idea. Others don't.

President Donald Trump told Utah leaders Friday he’s going to shrink the boundaries of two national monuments in Utah. Supporters and opponents of the move are already stepping up to make their views known.

Conservation groups are planning protests to fight any size reductions for Bears Ears or the Grand Staircase National Monument.

And then there’s Bears Ears Commission, the tribal panel established along with the monument to help manage the sacred lands. Commissioners are calling the White House announcement “appalling” and vowing to stay on the job until a court tells them to stop.

Meanwhile, a local group called the Stewards of San Juan County is circulating an open letter supporting Trump’s plans. It’s already got hundreds of signatures from people who say the land doesn’t need monument status, because it’s already protected by existing law.

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