Pissed Off at Trump’s
Native Americans Are Pissed Off at Trump’s Move to Slash Public Land
Dismay. Anger. Surprise. Those are just some of the reactions from Native Americans across the US after President Donald Trump announced Monday he would slash the size of two national monuments that tribes had fought to have established.
Bears Ears National Monument, which currently encompasses 1,351,849 acres in southeastern Utah, will be decreased by 85 percent; some 1,148,000 acres will be removed from the monument. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, established by Bill Clinton in 1996, was reduced by 896,000 acres. Bears Ears will be broken two much smaller monuments, Shash Jáa (129,980 acres) and Indian Creek (71,896 acres), while Grand Staircase-Escalante would be split into three—Grand Staircase (209,993 acres), Kaiparowits (551,034 acres), and Escalante Canyon (242,836 acres). Altogether, Trump’s action removes 2 million acres from the extra protection that comes with monument status. Environmental groups and tribes are already protesting and suing the Trump administration over the action, which many assume will lead to formerly protected lands being mined and drilled for oil.
Bears Ears holds great cultural significance to the Navajo and Hopi tribes, as well as the Zuni Pueblo, the Ute Mountain Ute, and the Southern Ute tribes, all of whom worked for the monument’s establishment in December 2016 by Barack Obama.