Trump downsizes Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments
Last Updated Dec 4, 2017 3:46 PM EST
President Trump announced from the Utah State Capitol his administration's decision to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments Monday afternoon.
Mr. Trump scaled back the two national monuments, which were among the 27 he ordered Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review earlier this year, by signing two presidential proclamations.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, encouraged the president to review the monuments declared by Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, arguing that they take up too much federal land.
Trump signs presidential proclamations
President Trump sat down on stage surrounded by Utah leadership to sign the two presidential proclamations reversing Bears Ears and Grand Staircase's designations as national monuments.
The audience chanted "four more years" as Mr. Trump signed the legislation.
The Trump administration plans to cut Bears Ears by 85 percent Grand Staircase by 50 percent. The reversal is likely to be met with opposition from tribal groups in the area.
Trump consulted Utah leadership on the decision
President Trump said that he consulted Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee regarding the decision to reverse the national monument designations.
He said his administration's decision would "reverse federal overreach and restore the rights of this land to your citizens."
"Together we will usher in a bright new future of wonder and wealth," the president said.
Trump announces he will sign presidential proclamations
The president said that the people of Utah know best how to care for and appreciate their natural resources and announced his intent to sign two presidential proclamations that modify the national monument designations of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase.
"I don't think it's controversial, actually," Mr. Trump said.
Trump remarks on Utah's "awesome natural beauty"
"Utah's awesome natural beauty is exceeded only by the warmth and grace and hospitality of its citizens," Mr. Trump said.
The president also promised the protect the people's religious liberty.
"Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats, and guess what? They're wrong," Mr. Trump said.
President Trump thanks Utah for tax cut support
President Trump thanked the people of Utah for their support in "ushering massive tax cuts and reform through the Senate" and predicted that the tax overhaul would be a "big, beautiful Christmas present."
Mr. Trump invited Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to the stage, who greeted the audience.