Trump, others say monument modification restores voice to Utahns

Dec 4, 2017, 7:24 PM
President Donald Trump, flanked by Utah Leaders holds up one of two proclamations modifying two national monuments in Utah. (Photo ksl.com)
(Photo ksl.com)

SALT LAKE CITY — One recurring theme echoed from the pulpit in the rotunda of the Utah State Capitol on Monday, Utahns voices are being heard over the designation of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments.

As protesters gathered outside, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, San Juan County Commissioner Rebecca Benally and others praised the shrinking of the boundaries for the monuments, by proclamation of President Donald Trump.

Benally said as a Native American, it was insulting to her that the original designations were made by people who lived thousands of miles away.  “People who have never been to San Juan County and likely couldn’t find us on the map,” Benally said.  “People who don’t understand our culture, traditions and histories, people who don’t care about us,” she said.

The monument designations have divided Native Americans, but Benally fully supported the change in boundaries.

President Trump, before a supportive crowd in the flag-decked rotunda, drew applause and standing ovations from the crowd, made up of Congressional delegates, county and state leaders and Republican party leaders from around Utah. “We will not only give back your voice over the use of this land, we will also restore your access and your enjoyment,” President Trump said.  “Public lands will once again be for public use.”

The designation will reduce the size of Bears Ears from 1.3 million acres to 201,876 acres, according to the Department of the Interior.  In a fact sheet, the department said significant archaeological, historical and scientific areas would still be preserved.

For Grand Staircase Escalante, the monument’s footprint would be reduced from 1.9 million acres, to just over 1 million. The President said he signed the proclamations on the recommendations of Secretary Zinke and Utah’s congressional delegation.  “Finally you’d be giving people back their access to the land they know, to the land they understand,” said President Trump.

Bears Ears was designated last year by President Barack Obama.  The original designation for Grand Staircase Escalante was declared by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Utah State University researchers measure the temperature at minus 10 degrees in the Logan Canyon M...
Mark Jones

Monday morning’s cold temperatures nearly set new records

Cold temperatures Monday morning in northern Utah nearly set new records.
24 hours ago
education legislation...
Mark Jones

One Utah lawmaker wants to ban cellphones in classrooms

One Utah lawmaker wants to ban cellphones in Utah classrooms.
24 hours ago
Schools in the Cache County School District are on a 2-hour delayed start on Tuesday, Jan. 31, due ...
Devin Oldroyd

Freezing weather causes delayed start for Cache County School District schools

Schools in the Cache County School District are on a 2-hour delayed start on Tuesday, Jan. 31, due to weather conditions.
24 hours ago
FILE - A doctor loads a dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at ...
Aimee Cobabe

Bill banning vaccine passports heading to Utah Senate

A bill to ban vaccine passports is heading out of the Utah House and into the Utah Senate. The bill is similar to a failed bill from 2022.
24 hours ago
A two-vehicle crash Monday morning on U.S. Highway 40 claimed the life of a 19-year-old man. Photo ...
Mark Jones

Crash in Uintah County claims the life of a 19-year-old man

UINTAH COUNTY, Utah — A 19-year-old man died Monday morning in a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 40 in Uintah County. The Utah Highway Patrol says the crash occurred near milepost 137 at 7:11 a.m. The UHP says a 2017 Nissan Rouge was heading westbound. The 19-year-old victim was the driver of the Nissan Rouge. […]
24 hours ago
It's so cold today (Jan. 30) that plumbers are expecting calls anytime from customers needing servi...
Curt Gresseth

When it’s this cold, keep your pipes from freezing. Here’s how.

It's so cold outside today that a plumber has joined the show to share tips on keeping your pipes inside and outside your home from freezing.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Trump, others say monument modification restores voice to Utahns