Congress is working to enshrine into law Trump’s bad decisions on national monuments

Jan 9, 2018

In the distance are the two "ears" of Bears Ears National Monument, Utah.

Mason Cummings, The Wilderness Society
Congress is working on bills that would codify President Trump’s recent attacks on public lands.

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands conducted hearing today on H.R. 4532, a bill introduced by Representative John Curtis (R-Utah) that would enshrine President Trump’s drastic reduction in the size of the Bears Ears National Monument.

The committee’s ranking member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) hosted a press conference earlier today to allow tribal leaders to voice their concerns about the bill, which would shrink Bears Ears by nearly 85 percent.

A similar bill, H.R. 4558, introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), would codify in law Trump’s decision to cut by nearly half the land protected as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah.

“These bills reverse protections for public lands that Americans treasure, and worse, they hand over management to county officials who have no accountability to the American taxpayers who own the land,” said Dan Hartinger, Deputy Director of Parks and Public Lands Defense at The Wilderness Society. 

Another bill, HR 3990 introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), essentially guts the Antiquities Act by creating numerous hurdles and by allowing presidents to reduce the size of monuments by executive action. 

Last year, more than 2.8 million Americans submitted official comments to the Trump administration about its punitive “review” of national monument lands, and 99 percent of the comments favored keeping monument protections as they were.

Additional information, photos and video:

Media resources for Trump administration "review" of national monuments

Dispatches from Monumental America: A Listening Tour

Key-Log Economics Report on Public Comments

“Too Wild to Drill” Report of 15 Irreplaceable Wild Lands at Risk for Drilling and Mining

Contacts: Michael Reinemer, 202.429-3949, michael_reinemer@tws.org; Dan Hartinger, 202.429.3943; dan_hartinger@tws.org