Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today issued the following statement on the reported decision by President Trump to downsize two previously established national monuments in Utah: Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase National Monument. Created under the 101-year-old federal Antiquities Act, both monuments were designated after lengthy environmental study and public input:
"The President's reported decision to downsize these national monuments is a slap in the face to every American who treasures our public lands, as well as a complete abrogation of our promises and obligations to the Native Americans who have sacred historic and cultural ties to these lands.
“The Antiquities Act does not allow a president to rescind or shrink earlier presidential monument designations. This illegal attempt to undo and subvert the preservation of these vital natural and cultural areas is nothing more than a thinly veiled attack on not only Native American heritage and our cherished public lands, but also on the Antiquities Act itself, one of the cornerstones of American conservation law. It puts every national monument in the U.S. at the risk of being political pawns in the pursuit of corporate gain.
“These moves are yet another in the Administration's growing list of gifts and handouts to the mining and oil industries, all at the expense of the true owners of these national treasures, the American public and our future generations."
Congressman Lowenthal, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and the lead sponsor of the Red Rocks Wilderness Act seeking to preserve Utah public lands, has been a leading voice in Congress on the protection and preservation of public lands throughout the nation.