President Trump’s Proclamation became effective upon signing on December 4, 2017. As of that date the existing Clinton GSENM ceased to exist. The new Trump version of GSENM took its place, consisting of three new “units”, shrunken sections of the old Monument. The BLM immediately began managing according to the Trump Proclamation. Legal challenges were filed the same day, but those challenges did not prevent the Trump monument from becoming the controlling legal structure.
Public comments on the planning process were due on April 13th. To view the comments that Grand Staircase Escalante Partners submitted, click here.
Overarching Key Points for These Planning Processes:
- We maintain that these proclamations are unlawful revocations of the existing monuments and will be overturned in a court of law. The president only has the authority to create a national monument under the Antiquities Act. Only Congress can revoke or reduce a national monument.
- The illegal proclamations issued by President Trump are already being challenged in court and the BLM’s rush to act is irresponsible.
- The BLM should abstain from planning efforts under the new proclamations for the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments until the legitimacy of these proclamations are fully settled by the courts.
- If the BLM moves forward with these planning processes at this time, it will likely be a colossal waste of time and money for an already strapped agency as these new proclamations are expected to be overturned by the courts. The BLM should spend its money on protecting these monuments and the natural and cultural resources within them for current and future American generations.
- Any actions proposed within the original and valid boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments should only substantially advance the proper care and management of the objects of interest as set forth in Proclamation 6920 (Sept. 18, 1996) creating the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Proclamation 9558 (Dec. 28, 2016) creating the Bears Ears National Monument.
Specific to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (in addition to the “Overarching Key Points” above):
- The BLM should put forth alternatives in its plan that protects the resources of the original monument as set forth in Proclamation 6920 (Sept. 18, 1996). This will ensure that the monument management plan covers both the areas in the original proclamation as well as the reduced areas.
- The BLM should look to the management provided in the current monument management plan for protection of important and sensitive resources in both the original proclamation and reduced areas, including cultural, natural/ecological, paleontological, geological resources as well as Tribal sacred lands and resources as described in Proclamation 6920 (Sept. 18, 1996).
- The public comment period should extend to at least ninety days following the last public hearing.
- Public hearings should be scheduled in Salt Lake City, Utah, Flagstaff, Arizona, Denver, Colorado, Washington D.C. and Albuquerque, New Mexico, in addition to the gateway communities of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.