Republican lawmakers are trying to counter accusations that the Trump administration drastically shrank the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah to benefit the uranium mining industry.
Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, introduced a bill last month that explicitly bars mining and drilling in the new monument area as well as in the land that was protected before President Trump altered the boundaries.
Former President Barack Obama, who created the 1.35-acre Bears Ears National Monument just before he left office, had banned mining and drilling there. Trump on Dec. 4 signed a proclamation cutting Bears Ears by more than 1.1 million acres, or 85 percent, and creating two smaller monuments instead. Continue Reading →