Trump To Significantly Pare Down Utah’s National Monuments

John Fowler / Flickr

The president's plan would be an unprecedented reduction of designated lands.

President Trump is looking to shrink Utah's national monuments in what is reported to be the most significant cutback any president has made to designations since the 1906 Antiquities Act.

President Trump plans to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent and reduce Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by half, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post that show the Utah sites would be cut even more than administration officials signaled.

Trump and other Republicans have argued that presidential misuse of the Antiquities Act has unduly restricted industrial development of federal land.

Trump signed an executive order in April instructing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to scrutinize any national monument larger than 100,000 acres that was established in the last 21 years. His administration, Trump said, would "end these abuses and return control to the people, the people of all the states, the people of the United States."

Zinke's report included the following recommendations:

[D]ecreasing the size of at least four existing national monuments, plus changing the way a half-dozen more are managed, to allow for activities such as logging in forests where that is now off limits and commercial fishing in marine protected areas.