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Tally of Lawsuits Challenging Trump's National Monument Cuts Reaches Five

Austin Cope

Five lawsuits have been filed so far to challenge President Trump’s attempted downsizing of two national monuments in Utah. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that three involve Bears Ears National Monument in San Juan County and two concern Grand Staircase-Escalante in Kane and Garfield counties. On December 4th, Trump issued proclamations reducing Bears Ears by about 85 percent and Grand Staircase by about half. Five American Indian tribes have filed suit over the Bears Ears action, saying the president doesn’t have the authority to downsize monuments. A coalition of nonprofits has also sued over potential damage to resources in Bears Ears, and a dozen conservation groups have filed a separate challenge. Two different coalitions have also filed separate lawsuits over the changes to Grand Staircase.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.