20 Mining Claims Have Been Staked On Land Trump Cut From Monument Protection

At least 20 new mining claims totaling about 460 acres have been staked on land President Donald Trump removed from national monument protection late last year.

The claims indicate there is interest in extracting minerals from lands that until recently were off limits to such development.

Trump signed a pair of proclamations late last year reducing the size of the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent and the 1.87-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by roughly 50 percent. It was the largest reduction of national monuments in history, with more than 2 million acres losing protections. Prohibitions on new hard-rock mining claims in those now-unprotected areas were lifted in early February.

Since then, 17 claims have been staked on land that was previously part of Grand Staircase-Escalante, according to Bureau of Land Management records. Three more have been located within the original boundary of Bears Ears.

A Canadian copper and silver mining firm, Glacier Lake Resources Inc., has entered into an agreement to purchase mineral rights to extract copper, cobalt and other minerals on roughly 200 acres of land at the former Colt Mesa mine within the original boundary of Grand Staircase-Escalante.

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