Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Utah Republicans Applaud Likely Cuts To National Monument Boundaries

Judy Fahys
The two national monuments in Utah that the Trump administration says it wants to shrink are filled with cultural and geological resources. Monument supporters say places like this ruin in Bears Ears should be protected.

President Donald Trump is expected to cut the size of two national monuments when he comes to Salt Lake City on Monday.

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch says Trump’s plans for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments, which he’ll announce during a visit to the State Capitol, strike “an excellent balance.” Rep. Rob Bishop R-UT, says the monuments were politically motivated, so he’s praising the president for shrinking them.

Southern Utah leaders have also asked for big cuts in the monuments’ size, because they’d like more freedom to mine, log and ride off-road vehicles on public land.

These are some of the people who are excited to hear about leaked documents that say the reductions could be significant. But no one really knows for sure.

Lots of people want the monuments to stay the same size. That’s what more than 2.5 million Americans told the Trump administration over the summer, during a review of 27 national monuments.

Native Americans consider the land sacred. And they’re teaming up with environmentalists and other supporters this weekend for a protest they’re calling Trump’s “monumental mistake.”

The president is also expected to meet with LDS leaders at Welfare Square during his visit.

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.
KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.