US seeks public proposals for mining on reclaimed monument land
By JP Casey
The US Government is pushing ahead with its plans to open up land formerly belonging to the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments to mining companies, despite lawsuits filed against the Trump administration by environmental groups.
US President Donald Trump rolled back the amount of protected land at the two monuments, in the state of Utah, from 1.35 million acres during the Obama administration to roughly 200,000 acres in December 2017, claiming that a much smaller portion of the land contained ‘objects of historical and scientific interest’ than was originally declared exempt from mining projects.
Trump proclaimed that “the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument are hereby modified and reduced to those lands and interests in land owned or controlled by the Federal Government within the boundaries described on the accompanying map,” in a statement in December. “These reserved Federal lands and interests in lands cumulatively encompass approximately 201,876 acres. The boundaries described on the accompanying map are confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”
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