A Signature Shrinks a Bear and a Staircase … Now What?

December 8, 2017
Valley of the Gods in Bears Ears National Monument By John Fowler via @Flickr CC BY 2.0

With the stroke of a pen, President Trump shrunk the size of Bear Ears National Monument by over eighty percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by about forty-five percent—lands in Utah that some believe are sacred and filled with fossils that tell many stories of the land’s past.

By Wolfgang Staudt from Saarbruecken, Germany (Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
But why shrink a national park? According to President Trump, this land should have never been managed by the federal government in the first place, but rather by the state of Utah. Those who oppose his decision believe that federal protection of these two pieces of land was the only thing that stopped drillers and miners from ruining them. The founder and CEO of outdoor retailer Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, is suing the President, and other retailers such as REI are protesting the President’s decision.

What do you think? Did President Trump do the right thing?