A federal judge has ruled that lawsuits to restore the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments can go forward.
In October the Trump administration filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuits, claiming that the plaintiffs had “suffered no injury” since Bureau of Land Management (BLM) planning processes are still operating. This argument is especially disingenuous since the Trump administration has fast-tracked public lands leasing by eliminating public involvement in land-use planning.
Since the proclamations to downsize Utah’s national monuments, the Trump administration has released new land-use plans for both national monuments that open land formerly preserved within National Monument boundaries to oil and gas leasing, large-scale vegetation removal, grazing and other resource extraction and industrial development.
This is an excerpt from our November EnviroNews column. View the full article here.