Lawsuits are pending from groups who have challenged the constitutionality of shrinking Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante
Plans finalized on Thursday for two national monuments in Utah downsized by Donald Trump would ensure that lands previously off-limits to energy development will be open to mining and drilling.
The move comes despite pending lawsuits from conservation, tribal and paleontology groups, who have challenged the constitutionality of the president’s action. The Trump administration slashed the size of Bears Ears national monument by 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument by nearly half in December 2017, in what represented the largest elimination of public lands protections in US history.
Conservation groups criticized the Trump administration on Thursday for spending time on management plans they believe will become moot when the court sides with their assertion that Trump misused the Antiquities Act to reverse decisions by previous presidents.
Original Title: Trump finalizes plans to open Utah monuments for mining and drilling
Full Text of the Original Article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/06/trump-utah-national-parks-energy-development-drilling