(AP) – Native American leaders say President Donald Trump’s move to drastically shrink a Utah national monument is the president’s second insult to native people in a week and an offense that tribes will unite to fight.
A coalition of five tribes that spent years pushing for the creation of Bears Ears National Monument said Monday it will wage a legal battle over the president’s plan to reduce the protected area by 85 percent.
Trump announced in a visit to Salt Lake City that he would also cut protections at Utah’s Grand Staircase National Monument roughly in half.
Trump says Utah’s lands should not be managed by “distant bureaucrats in Washington” and said he was reversing federal overreach.
Utah’s Republican leaders had pushed for Trump’s action, saying the monuments closed off the land to energy development and other access.