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Stewart proposes national park; Utah legislators propose state park

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah Congressman wants to create a sixth national park where a national monument once stood, but state lawmakers have other ideas.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) wants to limit future national monument designations.

“Our fear is that a subsequent president might come and say, ‘OK, well we’re going to take you back to the original boundaries, and not only that, we’re kind of angry at you, so we’re going to even expand it,’” he explained to the Utah legislature’s Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands.

Stewart wants a national park on 100,000 acres where Grand Staircase-Escalante once stood in southeastern Utah before President Trump shrunk it in December.

State Rep. Mike Noel (R-Kanab) wants a state park instead.

“We do as a good job, if not better, on our state parks,” Noel said. “We would have the management in the state of Utah.

“The revenues would come to the people of the state of Utah. We could determine the grazing and wildlife (policies).”

Escalante Canyons State Park would be 25,000 acres.