Environmentalists, local leaders upset over BLM’s Grand Staircase-Escalante decision

SALT LAKE CITY — The Bureau of Land Management has released management plans for the portions of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that lost protection when President Donald Trump signed an executive order to shrink it almost in half.

The plans outline extensive areas to be made available for mining, wind power, oil and gas drilling, and continued grazing.

Utah Rep. Rob Bishop, the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, says the BLM’s plans “represent a continued deference to the input and expertise of states."

Bishop has long criticized the creation of the National Monument by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

Several environmental groups based in Utah and around the country have voiced outrage at the plan. Among them, the Natural Resources Defense Council making the argument that they expect courts to find that Trump did not have the authority to shrink the monument.

“The management plans issued today are a waste of time and money; the administration should wait until after the court rules on Trump’s slashing of Grand Staircase before spending resources on new plans,” said NRDC director of lands, Sharon Bucino.

Beginning Friday, August 23, the plans are subject to a protest period. If you’d like to make a comment, click here.

Additional information on the decisions can be found here. 

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