President Trump on Monday signed an order shrinking both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments by more than 1.1 million acres and 800,000 acres, respectively. Trump is the first president to redefine monuments established under the 1906 Antiquities Act in more than 50 years.
The move also marks the largest reduction of federally-owned lands in American history and opens the land to environmentally damaging activities like oil drilling and mining. “Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They’re wrong,” Trump said. “The families and communities of Utah know and love this land the best and you know the best how to take care of your land.”