According to a draft document obtained by Outside, President Donald Trump on Monday plans to gut Bears Ears National Monument, the first such area to be co-managed by native tribes, reducing it from 1.35 million acres to 201,397 acres. “I hereby further proclaim that the lands reserved as part of the monument shall be limited to the Indian Creek and Shásh Jaa’ areas,” the document reads. Trump also plans to nearly halve the 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, according to the documents, which were first reported by the Washington Post.
Though the document is a draft, the numbers line up with the size and scope of the reductions rumored to be coming from the Trump administration. “Those numbers match what you’ve been hearing out of Utah,” says Peter Metcalf, former president of Utah-based Black Diamond Equipment and a longtime public lands advocate. Earlier this year, Utah governor Gary Herbert’s office sent a proposal to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposing a reduction of Bears Ears to roughly 120,000 acres. According to Metcalf, “The amount of due diligence [the Trump administration] did was next to nothing.”
Department of Interior Spokeswoman Heather Swift did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but did tell the Deseret News that the Post—which appears to have the same document obtained by Outside—had “very old and outdated information.”
“We have no reason to think it’s inaccurate,” says Natalie Landreth, an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), a non-profit legal organization representing three of the tribes that plan to file suit should the…