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State reps and former leaders support Pres. Trump’s decision on monuments

UTAH STATE CAPITOL – Utah’s congressional delegation and local leaders are showing their support for President Trump’s decision to reduce the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments.  One former governor says the decision rights a wrong that was made many years ago.

The San Juan County Commission is backing the move.  Commissioner Rebecca Banally says many of the people who support President Obama’s designation don’t care for the area as much as the commission does.  She says, “[They’re] people who have never been to San Juan County, and likely couldn’t find us on the map.”  She adds, “I know bureaucrats have made promises to Native Americans, and these promises were broken again, and again.”

Representative Rob Bishop says the federal government made promises when President Obama designated Bears Ears as a national monument, but, he says those promises were never fulfilled.  He says, “After the proclamation was done, there is still not one individual and not one dime extra being spent on the protection of that area. We will do that.”

He agrees changes need to be made to protect the public land, but, he believes the legislative process works better than an executive order, since the legislature is required to hear public opinion.  “There was an effort by the last administration to make a political decision on a political issue, when it should have been a resource management decision.  They didn’t hear all the voices,” Bishop says.

Mike Leavitt was the governor of Utah when President Clinton ordered the creation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.  He says President Trump’s decision is an appropriate move.  “It reverses a process that, in fact, was wrong.”

Leavitt says the decision to make that monument was done in secret despite plenty of objections from state officials.  He says, “No one knew about it.  They, in fact, denied it happening right up until the moment that it happened.  It was not a good example of how a real democracy should be operated.”