DENVER—President Trump is reportedly traveling to Utah next Monday to sign an executive order that will attempt to shrink the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monuments. The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:
“Next week President Trump will try to push through the largest elimination of protections for lands and wildlife in U.S. history. The president is capping his celebration of Native American Heritage Month by opening the door to new drilling and mining on land considered sacred by tribal nations. After his appalling remarks at the White House on Monday, President Trump’s assault on tribal interests continues at a staggering pace.
“Not only is President Trump’s order likely illegal, it ignores comments from more than 2.8 million Americans who asked the administration to leave these national monuments alone. The landscapes within Bears Ears contain tens of thousands of Native American ruins, rock art, and artifacts that have long been ravaged by looting and vandalism. It appears President Trump wants to keep it that way.”
Monday’s action will continue the Trump administration’s war on our parks and public lands. In his short stint as Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke has already tried to slash park budgets, privatize park services, and dramatically increase entrance fees to national parks. Next week, Secretary Zinke and President Trump will add another unfortunate decision to this long list.
The Zinke Doctrine: Make public lands hard for the public to use, easy for industry to abuse