Late in 2016, President Obama officially created the Bears Ears National Monument on December 28, 2016. One of the first executive orders President Trump signed was to instruct the Interior Secretary to look into recently created national monuments. Last week, Secretary Zinke sent a report to President that included his findings and recommendations.

In this article published by the Navajo Times, it reports that “Pro-monument advocates are ‘deeply disappointed and aggrieved’ over reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended to President Donald Trump to redraw the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. ‘(Native American) grass roots in Utah and beyond are deeply disappointed,’ leaders of Utah Diné Bikéyah – a grassroots tribal group that began developing the Bears Ears conservation initiative in 2010 – wrote in a statement, ‘and aggrieved that (Zinke) appears to have recommended reducing Bears Ears National Monument.'”

The key part of the article comes when it says “Leaders of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition – composed of members from Diné, Kiis’áanii, Ute, Ute Mountain and Zuni, also expressed “outrage,” criticizing Zinke’s reported recommendation that Trump shrink the size of the 1.35-million acre Bears Ears (Shash Jaa’) monument declared late last year by President Barack Obama.”

That part is important because it says President Obama created the monument through executive order. Had he created it through an act of Congress, then Interior Secretary couldn’t reduce the size of it through executive recommendation. Instead, President Obama decided he’d do whatever he wanted to do. He created Bears Ears National Monument with the stroke of his pen.

It’s one thing to create a national monument. It’s quite another to set aside 1,350,000 acres. (FYI- that’s 2,100+ square miles.) I like what President Trump is doing because it’s relatively respectful of President Obama. After all, President Trump could’ve gotten rid of that designation. Instead, he’s simply reducing its footprint.

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