Trump Sued Over ‘Unlawful’ Shrinking of Utah National Monuments

Bears Ears Photographer: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

Environmental groups hit President Donald Trump with a lawsuit just hours after he announced he’ll shrink two national monuments in Utah that contain stunning red-sandstone vistas, historic relics and energy resources.

The Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and seven other groups alleged that the president overstepped his authority in scaling back the 1.4-million-acre Bears Ears to about 220,000 acres, and the 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument to about 1 million acres.

The Antiquities Act of 1906, signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt, authorizes presidents to create national monuments, according to the complaint filed Monday in federal court in Washington. “It does not authorize presidents to abolish them either in whole or in part, as President Trump’s action attempts to do.”

Former President Barack Obama designated Bears Ears as a national monument last December over the objections of Utah’s Republican political leadership. Former President Bill Clinton established Grand Staircase in 1996.

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