Utah - Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

State: Utah
Description:

President Trump's Proclamation became effective upon signing on December 4, 2017 - removing nearly a million acres from national monument protection from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. As of that date the existing Clinton GSENM ceased to exist. The new Trump version of GSENM took its place, consisting of three new "units", shrunken sections of the old Monument. The BLM immediately began managing according to the Trump proclamation. Legal challenges were filed the same day, but those challenges did not prevent the Trump monument from becoming the controlling legal structure in the meantime. The BLM’s preferred alternative for their new management plan conserves the least amount of land for cultural and biological resources and prioritizes consumptive uses. The public has until 15th of November 2018 to submit comments on the plans, and officials insist they want to hear from citizens.

 

Trump's attack on the monument has significantly increased the threat of mining within the original boundaries of GSENM with the re-filing of expired mineral claims and a mining company's acquisition of the Colt Mesa area for hard mineral extraction. The Department of Interior is focused on expediting the process of exploiting our public lands even while the legality of Trump's proclamation remains unresolved.

 

Our conservation partners are working through legal avenues to protect this unique and delicate desert ecosystem that was originally included in the monument to protect it from harmful development.