On Dec. 4, 2017, President Donald Trump signed proclamations significantly reducing the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments in southern Utah’s world-renowned panoramic canyon country. Not only would these monuments be diminished in size, they would also be fragmented into separate units.
President Trump’s actions to shrink these two monuments are being challenged in federal court. Despite this active litigation, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has drafted land use plans for both the new smaller monuments and a separate land use plan for the public lands that were removed by the Trump proclamations from Grand Staircase-Escalante. These new plans will guide how lands within and outside of the new monument boundaries are managed until the courts make further determinations. In particular, the lands cut out of the new, smaller Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are being threatened in the draft plans by potential new coal mining, oil and gas drilling, and other development. While the courts will ultimately determine the fate of these monuments and public lands, it is important to participate in this process, both to register your disapproval of these actions and to voice your opinion on the values these lands contain and how they should be managed.
Send your comment to the BLM now!
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was designated in 1996 to preserve important scientific, historical, and cultural values, including world-class paleontological resources. Since then, more than two dozen new dinosaur species have been among the many scientific discoveries on lands within the original monument boundaries. The Grand Staircase-Escalante’s spectacular scenery and outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation have drawn visitors from around the world, providing an economic boost to nearby rural communities.
Many extraordinary places lie outside of President Trump’s revised monument boundaries, including significant parts of the Kaiparowits Plateau, Paria Canyon, Circle Cliffs, and the Hole-in-the-Rock Road corridor. These lands are the most vulnerable to development and must be managed to ensure conservation of their unique geologic, cultural, and ecological values.
Your voice is critical to this effort. Please submit a public comment today!
For the wild,
Director, U.S. Public Lands
The Pew Charitable Trusts