On December 4, a busy news day that encompassed talk of collusion with Russia and an unpopular tax bill (which contains an under-the-radar provision for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), Trump pronounced his goal of reducing protected acreage of the Bears Ears Monument to 225,000 acres. As established by President Obama, its designation was 1.5 million acres.
In addition, Trump moved to diminish the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument, established by President Clinton, by 50 percent — from 2 million acres to 1 million acres.
Trump delivered his public comments with a combination of effrontery and his usual school yard tone. Considering his actions stand as the greatest purge of land protection in the country’s history — it’s not surprising.
Amid asides on the tax bill, “bringing back Christmas,” and shout outs to Sen. Orrin Hatch and the “local Utah Navajo,” Trump stated the following on his presence in the state:
“And that is why I’m here today: Because some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They’re wrong.”
In true Orwellian fashion, Zinke has referenced previous protections of public lands as “a blatant misuse of power.”
Lawsuits are springing up rapidly, spearheaded by environmental and Native American groups. Social media has been deluged with campaigns pushing back against Trump’s latest egregious action.
Trump’s point of view, that our precious national heritage is up for grabs, is just another example of his uninformed real-estate mentality.
And no, parents who are about their children and the environment are not going to accept it.