Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Trump may cut size of Bears Ears by 90 percent, top Hatch staffer says

Bears Ears National Monument's boundaries likely will be reduced to between 100,000 and 300,000 acres, and Grand Staircase-Escalante could end up anywhere from 700,000 to 1.2 million acres, a top staffer in Sen. Orrin Hatch's office said. Ron Dean, the central and eastern Utah director in Hatch's office, briefed the Utah Legislature's Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands in a Tuesday meeting on President Donald Trump's plans to reduce the size of the monuments. Dean said while he hasn’t seen Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendations for the monuments, he expects Bears Ears National Monument will be reduced by nearly 80 to 90 percent of its current size and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will be cut down by about 40 to 60 percent. Dean was quick to emphasize that his acreage numbers are "really grapevine," but also come with some certainty. If the boundary revisions fall outside those parameters, he said, "my rumors are bad rumors." In the case of the 1.35-million acre Bears Ears, designated as a national monument last December by former President Barack Obama, the reduction would be significant. Grand Staircase, at nearly 1.9 million acres, would potentially be less impacted, but critics have said no reductions are acceptable...more

No comments: