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Bears Ears Public Comment Period Begins Amid Intense Opposition to Monument's Shrinkage

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The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input on management for the downsized Bears Ears National Monument even though the smaller monument faces legal challenges and stiff opposition. On December 4th, President Trump issued an executive order shrinking the monument from 1.3 million acres to about 200,000. The BLM’s Utah State Office has now opened a 60-day public scoping period. However, three lawsuits have been filed against Trump’s order. And on Tuesday, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye urged Congress to reject a bill, introduced by Utah Congressman John Curtis, that seeks to accomplish the downsizing legislatively.  Begaye said in a release that protection of the larger monument, which borders the reservation, is “essential to the Navajo people and to the Navajo way of life.”

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.
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