On December 4, 2017 President Donald Trump decreased two national monuments by almost 2 million acres making this the biggest reduction in federal land protection in U.S. history.
The two monuments names are Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Bears Ears size was deacresed by 85 percent of its original size and Grand Staircase was cut by half of its size. In my speech I will explain why I believe Trump made a good decision.President Trump opened up Bears Ear and Grand Staircase-Escalante monument in Utah to fewer restrictions and more development on public lands. The United States government controls almost 2/3s of the land in Utah and the downsizing of the these two national monuments will increase local control.
The downsizing of these monuments will open up Utah’s land to ranchers, natural gas extraction, and mining. The county of San Juan is the eight lowest income county in the United States. The protected federal land in the county is mainly the reason for San Juan’s struggle to survive. President Trump has kept the most important parts of Bears Ear but has given up places that have no historic interest.
Giving up federal land to the local people who know how to use it wisely is better than having people who work in offices for the government control the land.A counter-argument to the downsizing of the two national monuments is that native american nations and environmentalists say the decision will destroy national heritage and threaten sites of archaeological importance. The environment could be harmed as gas extraction and mining could destroy much of the land.
The Navajo Nation, a group of native americans, has said the government has already taken much of their land and the reduction of these two national monuments could lead to more downsizing of national parks and monuments. The navajo nation has said they will go to court against the Trump administration for taking their land away.The state of Utah has ?’s of its land owned by the federal government. There has been a push by Utahns to take back the land that belongs to the local and state people. San Juan county in Utah fully supports the president’s decision. Utah has many untapped natural resources that could help the states economy and support its people financially. The designation of Bears Ear and Grand Escalante Monument had protected much land that didn’t need protected.
President Trump has downsized parts of the monuments that are not fully significant to the history of the two monuments while continuing to preserve the most important parts of the monuments. Ryan Zinke, President Trump secretary of the interior, has also been reviewing other national monuments and has been proposing to Trump that borders of the other monuments should change as well.In conclusion, President Donald Trump made a controversial but also a decision that is loved by the local people in Utah. He has shrunk Bears Ear and Grand Staircase Escalante monument and opened up the monuments for ranchers, gas extraction, and mining. The navajo nation is against this while the local people of San Juan county have supported Trump and are happy with his decision.
The opening of these two monuments will help Utah’s economy and the United States economy.