Grijalva: Trump Trying to Shrink Utah National Monuments is Illegal and Unpopular – and Republicans Admit It

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on today’s news that President Trump will sign an order next week unilaterally attempting to shrink Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bears Ears National Monument. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), who has pressured President Trump for months to shrink both sites, recently introduced a bill that creates presidential authority to shrink or eliminate monuments – an admission that no such power currently exists. The Antiquities Act, which gives presidents the authority to create monuments, has never had any such language.

“The president’s move in Utah is illegal, unpopular, and unwise. Republicans are ignoring the courts of law and public opinion to pander to drillers and developers who have no regard for our special places. The vast majority of the millions of public comments on this summer’s national monument ‘review’ favored current protection levels, and public polling in Utah and across the West shows monument supporters far outnumbering opponents. It should be clear this ‘review’ was a sham designed to let rich companies get richer off our public lands and settle grudges against Presidents Obama and Clinton.”

In response to reports that President Trump will visit Utah in December to illegally reduce Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, Scott Groene, Executive Director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance released the following statement:

"If President Trump illegally attacks Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, this will long be viewed as one of the most short-sighted and ill-conceived acts committed by a modern president.  These monuments wisely safeguard some of our nation’s most spectacular wild places, cultural sites and scientific marvels.   We are confident the federal courts will reject any such actions.” 

Contact: Scott Groene, 801-712-5034

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