President Joe Biden will restore two extensive national monuments in Utah that have been at the center of a long-running public land dispute and a separate marine conservation area in New England that has recently been used for commercial fishing.
The monuments cover a wide area of southern Utah where red rocks overlook petroglyphs and cliffs and distinct butts from a grassy valley. Former President Donald Trump has cut 20 million acres from two monuments, calling for centuries-old antiquities laws, and calling the ban on mining and other fuel production a “massive land grab” that “should never have happened.”
The White House announced the changes Thursday night before Friday’s expected ceremony.
Utah Governor Spencer Cox, a Republican, expressed frustration with Biden’s decision to restore the monuments at Bears Cannes and Grand Stair-Escalante, which the Trump administration significantly reduced in 2001. He and other Republicans in Utah called it a “disappointing, though not surprising,” joint statement.
Trump’s strategy made it possible to extract minerals on land considered sacred to five tribes, including the Navajo, Hopi, Juni, Camel and Camel Mountain Camel tribes.
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Tribesmen and environmentalists welcomed the announcement Thursday evening as a landmark on issues affecting the land of the Bears Years, the Grand Stair-Escalante, and the Northeast Canyon and Simmons National Memorial, which has clouded the future of the Utah area for years.
“The bear’s ears will be protected! We applaud the expected Biden administration’s steps to restore the protection of Bears Years and its one-of-a-kind and sacred territory,” the Native American Rights Fund said in a written statement Thursday.
The White House said in a statement that Biden is “fulfilling an important commitment” to restore the monuments to their full size and “supports the long-standing policy of protecting American national parks, monuments and other protected areas forever and for all.” ”
Former President Barack Obama extended the federally protected area in Bears Years in 2016 towards the end of his administration. Trump cut it to about 200,000 acres. His administration cut about half of the Grand Staircase-Escalante, leaving about 1 million acres. Both monuments were erected by democratic presidents.
Republican Reuben Gallego, de-Ariz, who pushed for legislation in 2017 to undo Trump’s actions, will attend Biden’s signing ceremony at the White House.
“It’s great to finally have it here,” said Gallego, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee. “This is a very sacred and faithful land, and we are going to preserve it for the next generation.”
Representative Raul Grizalva, de-Ariz, who chairs the Natural Resources Committee, said Biden’s decision “shows the administration’s commitment to protecting the land of our people and respecting the voices of indigenous peoples. It’s time to look back on Trump’s reprehensible actions. Mirror.”
Utah Republicans had hoped Biden would take action after U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dev Holland visited the area this summer and recommended the opposite to President Trump.
Utah Governor Biden called the decision a “tragic missed opportunity.” The president’s move “failed to ensure as well as provide funding for law enforcement, research and other protections that monuments need and that only congressional action can provide,” Cox said in a statement released along with other state leaders.
“Again, the Utah National Monuments are being used as political football in the administration,” Romney said Said on Twitter.
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“Working with stakeholders to find a lasting, legal solution to the long-standing dispute over the boundaries and management of the monument wastes the opportunity to create sensations, which ensures and benefits all stakeholders,” Romney said. Another tweet.
Among the steps the administration has taken to protect public land and water are Biden’s steps, including stopping oil leasing to Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and stopping road construction in Alaska’s Tongas National Forest. The largest federal forest in the country.
But the executive move reflects an inability for the Democrat-controlled Senate to garner 60 votes to win a Republican Philistine on a bill to secure land more permanently. Biden’s executive move means the future president may want to withdraw the re-established security on Friday.
Biden’s plan restores the protection of northeastern canyons and border national monuments in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of Cape Cod. Trump changed a rule to allow commercial fishing at marine memorials, a move that was promoted by fishing groups but ridiculed by environmentalists who pressed Biden and Holland to restore protection against fishing.
Protecting marine monuments demonstrates “this invaluable area for this fragile species that calls it home” and the administration’s commitment to science, said Jane Felt, director of ocean expeditions at the Conservation Law Foundation.
Contributions: Debra Kroll, Republic of Arizona; Crystal Hayes, USA Today; Assistant Printing Press
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