The new order is aimed at reviewing President Obama’s last-minute December 28, 2016, order that set aside 1.35 million acres in the Bears Ears National Monument.
Also believed to be in the review will be the 1.9 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument established by President Clinton on September 18, 1996.
Both former presidents used the authority created under the 1906 Antiquities Act, with critics terming both actions a broad overreach of executive power to curry favor with environmental groups.
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, the Republican senior senator for the state, believes that public lands are better managed by state governments instead of the federal government.
For years, I have fought every step of the way to ensure that our lands are managed by the Utahns [who] know them best and cherish them deeply. That’s why I’m committed to rolling back the egregious abuse of the Antiquities Act to serve far-left special interests. As part of this commitment, I have leveraged all of my influence — from private meetings in the Oval Office in the president’s first week in office to my latest trip to Bears Ears this week — to ensure that this issue is a priority on the president’s agenda.”
Environmental and Indian tribal groups lobbied the Obama Administration for the Bears Ears National Monument designation while groups within the state argued for state management and resizing the monument areas to allow limited mining and energy development.
The order is not expected to change the designations immediately but has a short time frame for the Interior Department to report back on the designating of monuments back to Jan. 1, 1996.”
No president has ever attempted to withdraw a monument named by a predecessor, but some have scaled back the designations. The new Trump order is expected to focus on reviewing the size and scope of the designations.
Source: The Hill