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The Right Move on Monuments
The Wall Street Journal
December 5, 2017

President Trump announced Monday that he will dramatically reduce the acreage of two national monuments. The order ends excessive federal control of Utah land, allowing residents to protect their own territory and conserve their cultural relics.

Without public comment, the federal government unilaterally seized control of more than 3.2 million acres of southeastern Utah that together constitute the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments. Residents and their elected representatives had minimal influence on the draconian land-use restrictions imposed by Washington bureaucrats.

Last spring Mr. Trump ordered a review of 27 supersized monuments. The Interior Department made recommendations only after accepting formal public comment. Mr. Trump announced Monday that he would shrink Bears Ears by about 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante by nearly 46%.

Most of the two million newly undesignated acres are still public lands, subject to rigorous federal and state protections. The Trump Administration increased Native American representation on the advisory Bears Ears Commission.

In other words, the Trump Administration’s order not only ends federal overreach but restores power to local people. That’s a monumental and welcome change.

Read the full editorial here.