February 06, 2020
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, issued the following statement after the Interior Department released final management plans for the reduced Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument:
“The Trump administration is trying to carry out its likely illegal campaign to roll back two treasured national monuments before the courts can stop them. The Trump Interior Department’s attempt to unleash more destructive development on illegally-reduced national monuments comes at a time when Indian Tribes, citizen groups, and over 100 members of Congress are challenging the president’s reduction to these monuments in the courts. The drastic reductions of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante are unprecedented under the Antiquities Act, and I am confident the courts will put a check on these unlawful monument reductions and these plans which leave Tribal cultural sites, fossils, and other valuable resources unprotected.
“The $4 million wasted on these plans would have made a healthy down payment on a much-needed visitor center or deferred maintenance project at any one of our national parks or monuments. Instead, the Trump Interior Department wasted that taxpayer money on an unnecessary management plan to try sell off the public’s land to industry in the face of overwhelming public opposition.”
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