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National Monuments

Yesterday, President Trump announced that he planned to shrink the Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah. Bear Ears would be shrunk to about ⅙ of its current size. The Grand Staircase would be cut almost in half. Trump says those two monuments should not have been designated so in the first place by former President Obama. Those who oppose the decision say that by shrinking the monuments, the state will have the control over the land. The state can use the land to drill for oil. After the announcement, 10 Environmental groups and 5 Native American tribes have sued President Trump saying he doesn’t have the authority to make that decision. The tribes also say they were never consulted about the decision before it was made. The tribes are trying to preserve their cultural heritage. The environmental groups are concerned that the lands won’t be federally protected anymore. The land could become polluted. Federal courts have never determined whether a president has the power to make changes. That could be decided soon. If Trump wins, he will be able to shrink any national monuments. If he loses, future presidents can designate and protect any public land.


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