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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Biden to Restore 3 National Monuments in Utah, New England Downsized by Trump

8th October (WNN) — President Joe Biden will announce Friday that he is restoring land in three national monuments that were effectively removed by former President Donald Trump to open them up for mining.

The White House said Biden would restore and even add Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments in Utah and Northeast Canyon and Seamounts National Monument in New England.

Officials said Biden will expand the 1.3 million acres in Bears Ears National Monument previously under federal protection as well as 1.8 million acres in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Restoration in the Northeast Canyon and Seamounts – the first American maritime monument in the Atlantic Ocean – will return the protection of sea canyons and underwater mountains near the New England coast.

Biden is due to make the announcement at the White House Friday at 1:45 p.m. EDT.

“By restoring these national monuments, which were significantly reduced during the previous administration, President Biden is fulfilling an important promise and upholding the longstanding principle that America’s national parks, monuments and other protected The territories are to be protected always and for all people, the White House said in a statement ahead of Biden’s announcement.

Former President Barack Obama created borders for the controversial Bears Ears memorial in late 2016, but Trump extended them back the following year. In fact, Trump removed more than 2 million acres from monuments in Utah.

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Trump’s scaling back federal protections opened up lands, which are sacred to many Native American tribes, to mineral mining.

The White House said, “Restoring these protections will preserve many sites culturally and spiritually important to tribal nations – including petroglyphs, pictographs, cultural sites, habitats and areas used for traditional rituals.” “

Environmental advocates applauded Biden’s decision.

“Bear’s Years Will Be Protected! We appreciate the Biden administration’s action needed to restore security to Bear’s Years and its one of a kind and sacred landscape,” the Native American Rights Fund said in a statement.

“Bears Ear protections were established after years of negotiation, input and advocacy on behalf of tribes, states, non-governmental organizations and the public. Those hard-earned protections were removed in 2017. There was a spate of exploitation and abuse. sabotage, by tourists with commercial interests and misinformation.”

Republican politicians in Utah oppose moves to restore security for monuments.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Attorney General Sean Reyes, State Senate President J. Stuart Adams and State House Speaker Brad Wilson said in a joint statement.

“The president’s decision to re-enlarge the monuments is a tragic missed opportunity. It fails to provide the certainty as well as funding for law enforcement, research, and other protections that require monuments and that only Congress.” action may be offered.


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