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Meanderthals | bears ears national monument

Here’s a closer look at what Trump cut out of Bears Ears National Monument

When President Trump reduced the size of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument by more than 1.1 million acres, his administration assured the public “important objects of scientific or historic interest” would still be protected. Many areas the Trump administration removed from Bears Ears are rich in uranium and oil deposits and may eventually become more accessible...

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Inside the New Battle for the American West

Deep in a box canyon in Utah, in the heart of the fractured land known as Bears Ears National Monument, there is a cave—a swooping, mineral-streaked alcove in a sandstone cliff. In December 1893 a rancher-explorer named Richard Wetherill pushed his way through dense reeds and discovered inside that alcove a stacked-stone ruin where a prehistoric group of Native Americans...

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US poised to allow more mining on land Trump removed from monuments

US officials have announced plans to allow increased mining on land that once belonged to two national monuments Donald Trump shrank, and to sell off some of the land despite pledges not to do so. The two monuments, now significantly smaller in size, are both in Utah. The draft management plan for Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument includes a 98-page minerals...

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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...

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At Bears Ears, Trump and Zinke ignored everyone but industry

In April 2017, Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said of former President Barack Obama and the newly designated Bears Ears National Monument: “In making this unilateral decision, our former president either failed to heed the concerns of San Juan County residents, or ignored them completely.” If Hatch were an honest man, he would say exactly the same about President...

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Emails reveal oil and gas drilling was a key incentive to shrink Utah national monuments

From the start of the Trump administration’s review of national monuments, agency officials were directing staff at the U.S. Department of the Interior to figure out how much coal, oil, and natural gas had been placed off limits by the Bears Ears’ National Monument designation. Environmental activists and public lands advocates feared Trump was pushing to reduce the size...

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Rare Fossils Discovered on Lands Cut From Bears Ears National Monument

Researchers have discovered what may be one of the world’s richest caches of Triassic period fossils at an extensive site within the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument. The team’s initial excavation led to the extraordinary discovery of several intact remains of crocodile-like animals called phytosaurs. The findings were publicly announced at...

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The national monuments slashed by Trump will officially be open to mining today

At 9 a.m. EST Friday, February 2, 2018, the extractive industry will gain drilling and mining access to previously protected American land, according to an order issued by President Donald Trump late last year. Trump took an unprecedented step for a U.S. president in December — signing a proclamation that dramatically reduced the size of two national monuments. Bears...

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A Trail Runner’s Paean to Bears Ears

Ultrarunner Bryon Powell spends nine days exploring the monument under siege The sun is still hidden below Owl Canyon’s south rim, and the cool October-night air lingers in the canyon bottom. I exit a hairpin bend and find myself facing a canyon wall. Dead ahead of me is a bright speck in the midst of broad shadow, the telltale sign of a rock window. “Nevills Arch?” I...

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Pilfered artifacts, three suicides and the struggle over federal land in Utah

For decades, the empty desert region at the junction of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico — known as the Four Corners — was a free-for-all for treasure hunters looking to pick the region clean of Native American artifacts. Then on the morning of June 10, 2009, federal agents arrived in force in Blanding, Utah. Just as the morning light was creeping in on the tiny...

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Trump scales back two huge national monuments in Utah, drawing praise and protests

President Trump announced that he is drastically scaling back two national monuments established in Utah by his Democratic predecessors, the largest reduction of public lands protection in U.S. history. Trump’s move to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments by more than 1.1 million acres and more than 800,000 acres, respectively,...

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Despite tribal opposition, Trump’s Interior Secretary wants to shrink Bears Ears National Monument

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recommended that President Donald Trump cut the boundary of the culturally significant Bears Ears National Monument in an interim report he sent to Trump. Tribes and conservation groups argue that this is a potentially illegal act and that Trump does not have the authority to eliminate sections of a national monument. “The review...

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What happens next for Bears Ears National Monument

By June 10th, 2017, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will announce his decision on whether to recommend reducing or removing protection for Bears Ears National Monument. Just a couple weeks after President Trump signed an executive order targeting national monuments, Bears Ears National Monument’s May 26th comment period deadline has passed. In the coming weeks, the...

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Zinke says monument designations have been an ‘effective tool,’ Hatch is confused

As he embarked on a tour of Utah to review two national monuments, Ryan Zinke said he sees no evidence Native American proponents of Bears Ears National Monument were exploited by special interest groups, as state leaders have suggested. “I think they’re smart, capable, passionate, and have a deep sense of tie to their culture and want to preserve it,”...

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President Designates New National Monuments in Utah and Nevada

President Obama has designated Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah and Gold Butte National Monument in southeastern Nevada. Representing the best of America’s natural wonders, these designations complete what tribes, members of Congress, state and local officials, and local business and community leaders have sought for decades. The new monuments protect...

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The bid for Bears Ears

One thousand years ago, clusters of pueblos teeming with activity dotted what are now the piñon, juniper and sage forests atop Cedar Mesa. Men tended to hundreds of acres of electric-green fronds of corn, beans and squash. Women ground corn and shelled beans on rooftops, while turkeys gobbled in nearby pens and domesticated dogs roamed village plazas. Groups of runners...

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Tribes outline proposal for national monument in Utah

Tribal leaders in the Southwest have outlined a proposal to designate a section of southeastern Utah as a national monument, seeking to become partners with the federal government in managing their ancestral homeland. The proposed Bears Ears National Monument is named for twin buttes that overlook Cedar Mesa. The 1.9 million-acre area would be bordered to the south by...

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