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Zinke Says Claim That Trump 'Stole' Public Land Is a Lie

Zinke Says Claim That Trump 'Stole' Public Land Is a Lie

In the wake of President Donald Trump's order to shrink Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante national monuments, REI, Patagonia, and the North Face seem to think so.

Both actions were in response to Trump's decision to reduce the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by more than 800,000 acres, or 46 percent, and the Bear Ears National Monument by more than 1.1 million acres, or 85 percent, making it "the largest reduction of public-lands protection in US history", as The Post's Josh Dawsey and Juliet Eilperin reported. It would divide it into two smaller areas - Indian Creek and Shash Jaa (Navajo for "Bears Ears"), the White House confirmed in a written statement. Bears Ears has no oil or gas, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters, though Grand Staircase-Escalante has coal.

Trump says Utah's lands should not be managed by "distant bureaucrats in Washington" and said he was reversing federal overreach.

"The families and communities of Utah know and love this land the best, and you know the best how to take care of your land. You know best how to conserve this land for many, many years to come".

Roughly 3,000 demonstrators lined up near the State Capitol to protest President Trump's announcement.

"Everybody, I think, wants some stability and certainty about what lands are protected and what lands are open to development going forward, and to have it bounce back and forth nearly like a ping pong ball would not be helpful", Keiter says.

"However, we are resilient and refuse to allow President Trump's unlawful decision to discourage us". We've fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we'll continue that fight in the courts.

Trump acted on a recommendation by Zinke, who also has urged that two other large national monuments in the West be reduced in size, potentially opening up thousands of acres of land revered for natural beauty and historical significance to mining, logging and other development.

Tribal leaders, environmentalists and others argue the president does not have that authority and his move jeopardizes a wealth of Native American artifacts, dinosaur fossils and rugged spaces.

Wintry weather for part of the area Friday
Once again, the best chance of seeing snow will be generally in locations between Birmingham and Montgomery. There remain options on the table for this forecast to change.

The company Patagonia-which already campaigns to protect swathes of the eponymous wilds in Argentina and Chile-said it would file a lawsuit against the Trump Administration in partnership with local community and environmental groups. "The proclamation signed by President Trump today is so extreme that it revokes and replaces Bears Ears and thereby violates the Antiquities Act and seizes authority that the Constitution vests exclusively in Congress".

And yet, strangely, fellow heads of state from five indigenous nations (Navajo Nation, Hopi, Zuni, Ute Mountain Ute, and Uintah and Ouray Ute) which have a "timeless bond" with the area in question and who wrote the national monument proposal for Bears Ears were nowhere to be seen in the Capitol.

"That's part of the story of Bears Ears bringing people together". These lands have incredible healing qualities and peace-based qualities.

Patagonia also plans to file a lawsuit over the Bears Ears decision, according to a press release.

Andrew Black, a Presbyterian pastor and director of community relations, education, and veterans outreach for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, organized a trip last month for almost 30 Christian and Jewish clergy members to meet with tribal leaders at Bears Ears.

"Hopefully, we can have some closure on what the president can and cannot do", said Mike Noel, a Republican state representative in Utah who was on stage with the president during his proclamation signing in Salt Lake City.

Before Trump spoke on Monday, San Juan County Commissioner Rebecca Benally spoke, claiming the creation of the Bears Ears National Monument "was disheartening for my community". The company said it has "always viewed public lands as our special interest", company spokeswoman Corley Kenna said. She also connected with the land through her own Christian faith.

"My faith calls me to find ways to support life that belongs to God", she said. "The land is something that can't just be treated carelessly or frivolously".

"Gee whiz, it sounds like there are going to be a lot of attorneys making a whole lot of money", quipped Noel.

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