Biden to restore Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments cut by Trump – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-10-08 16:21:49 –

From Washington-President Joe Biden has restored two vast national monuments in Utah, overturning President Donald Trump’s decision.

The Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments include more than 3.2 million acres (approximately the same size as Connecticut) and allow the president to protect places considered historically, geographically and culturally important. Created by the Democratic Government under the law 100 years ago.

As another action, Biden plans to restore protection to the marine protected area off the coast of New England, which has been used for commercial fishing under Trump’s orders.

The White House announced changes on Thursday night prior to the White House ceremony on Friday afternoon.

Republican Governor of Utah Spencercox has expressed disappointment with Biden’s decision to restore the Utah monument, which Trump had significantly shrunk in 2017.

The monument covers the vast expanse of southern Utah, with red rocks revealing petroglyphs and cliff dwellings, and unique buttes swelling from grassy valleys. Trump enforced a 100-year-old ancient law to reduce 2 million acres (800,000 hectares) from the two monuments, “should never have” restricted mining and other energy production. We called it “large-scale land acquisition.”

His actions have reduced Bears Year by 85% and slightly exceeded 200,000 acres (80,900 hectares) in what is considered sacred to Native American tribes. Grand Staircase-Escalante has been cut by nearly half to about 1 million acres (405,000 hectares).

The White House said in a statement that Biden “fulfilled an important promise” to restore the monument to full size, “American national parks, monuments and other protected areas should be protected for everyone at all times. We support the long-standing principle of being. ” Man. “

Biden’s plan also restores protection for the Northeastern Canyons and Seamounts National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Cape Cod. Trump has changed the rules to allow commercial fishing in an area of ​​approximately 5,000 square miles. This action was foretold by a fishing group, but was ridiculed by environmentalists who urged Biden and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to restore protection to the fishing industry.

Protecting the marine monument protects “this precious area for vulnerable species that call it home,” and demonstrates the government’s commitment to science, Genfeld, director of marine campaigns at the Conservation Law Foundation. Says.

Representative Raul Griharba of the House of Representatives Natural Resources Commission and the Chairman of the House of Representatives Natural Resources Commission also praised the Byden administration in a statement, and the restoration of the monument “protects our public land and respects the voices of the indigenous people. He said he showed his dedication to “doing.”

“It’s time to put Trump’s cynical behavior in the rear-view mirror,” Grijalva said.

However, the Governor of Utah called Biden’s decision “missing a tragic opportunity.” In a statement released by Cox with other state leaders, the president’s actions were “not just funding for law enforcement, research, and other protection that monuments need and can only provide parliamentary action. We can’t provide certainty either. “

Republican Senator Mitt Romney also criticized Biden, saying in a tweet that the president “stolen the opportunity to build consensus” and found a permanent solution to the monument.

“Once again, the Utah National Monument is being used as political football between administrations,” Romney said Thursday. “The decision to re-expand the border between Bears Years and Grand Staircase-Escalante has devastated state, provincial, tribal leaders, and delegations … Today’s” winner robs everything That spirit kept us further away from that goal. “”

Jennifer Locala, secretary-general of the Conservation Society’s Western Priority Center, also praised Biden’s decision and was the first to reach his goal of protecting at least 30% of US land and sea by 2030. He said he hoped to be a step forward.

“Thank you, President Biden,” Lokara said in a statement. “You listened to the stories of indigenous peoples and Americans and ensured that these landscapes would be protected for generations to come.”

Ironically, Trump’s cuts have raised public attention to Bears Years, according to Lokara. She called on the federal government to manage the landscape and increase funding to handle the growing crowd.

Harland, the first Native American Cabinet Secretary, visited Utah in April to visit the monument and became the latest federal official to embark on a long-standing battle on public land. She submitted her recommendation for the monument in June.

In a statement Thursday, Haaland said during his trip to Utah, “I am very honored to talk to many who care deeply about the land.”

“The historic connection between indigenous peoples and Bears Year is undeniable. Native American ancestors have been in this landscape since ancient times. Their affluence,” said Harland, a member of Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico. Evidence of a good life is everywhere. ” ..

President Barack Obama declared the Bears Years a national monument in 2016, 20 years after President Bill Clinton moved to protect the Grand Staircase-Escalante. Bears Ears was the first site to be designated by a tribal specific request.

The Bears Years Intertribal Union, which promoted the restoration, states that the monumental twin buttes are considered a place of worship for many tribes. This group includes the Hopi, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountains, Ute, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Indians.

“President Biden has done the right thing to restore Bears Ears National Park,” Sean Chapus, a coalition member and chairman of the Ute Indian Tribal Business Committee, said in a statement. “For us, the monument never disappeared. We always return to these lands to manage and care for our sanctuaries, water and medicine.”

The Trump administration’s reductions to Bears Years and Grand Staircase-Escalante paved the way for potential coal mining and oil and gas drilling on previously off-limits lands. However, activity was limited due to the power of the market.

Conservative state leaders praised the reduction, given the size of both monuments that the US government has gone too far.

Environmental, tribal, paleontological, and outdoor recreational organizations have filed proceedings to restore the original boundaries.

Biden’s decision to restore protection has resulted in an environmental group with a stronger lobby than its supporters of the fishing industry, said Bob Vanas, executive director of saving seafood, a national seafood industry group.

“People who like fresh local swordfish, tuna, red shrimp and crab meat should be very angry with today’s Harris Biden administration,” Vanas said.


Associated Press writer Lindsey Whitehurst of Salt Lake City and Patrick Whittle of Portland, Maine contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

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