Zinke to ask Trump to shrink two more monuments

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke at the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument which the Trump administration says it intends to shrink. It's still not clear how much of the coal contained in the monument would be mined with smaller boundarie

The two monuments were created by Democrats Barack Obama and Bill Clinton under a century-old law that allows presidents to protect sites considered historically, geographically or culturally important.

President Trump will on Monday announce plans to slash the size of two United States national parks, provoking fury from environmentalists, native american tribes and conservationists.

Trump will also ask Congress to look at the areas that are being removed from the current monuments to consider designating some as a national conservation or national recreation areas, and create a co-management structure for tribes, an administration official said.

On Monday, Trump announced that his administration would reduce the size of two national monuments: Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, each more than a million acres in size.

The tribes point to a federal lands law from the 1970s that says only Congress can actually reduce or nullify a national monument.

"With the action I'm taking today, we will not only give back your voice over the use of this land, we will also restore your access and your enjoyment".

In a statement Monday, Heidi McIntosh from Earthjustice's Rocky Mountains office said: "President Trump has perpetrated a bad violation of America's public lands and heritage by going after this dinosaur treasure trove. They don't know your land".

The California-based company, which is known for its activism, joins a growing number of organizations questioning the Trump administration's authority to slash the areas covered by Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bears Ears National Monument. He cited the 1906 Antiquities Act, which past Presidents have used to designate National Monuments, to scale back instead.

Zinke said Tuesday he would focus changes in Gold Butte on the site's water districts.

"The president stole your land", reads the message posted on the Patagonia homepage, calling the president's decision "illegal". Bears Ears features thousands of Native American artifacts, including ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs. "And the Antiquities Act was never meant to prevent, it was meant to protect".

Both parks, or monuments as they are called, are in the dramatic Southern Utah red rock country.

"More than 150 years ago, the federal government removed our ancestors from Bears Ears at gunpoint and sent them on the Long Walk", Navajo Nation Council Delegate Davis Filfred said in statement.

U.S. President Donald Trump autographs the hat of Bruce Adams, chairman of the San Juan County Commission, after Trump signed an executive order at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., December 4, 2017.

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