Bears Ears was established by President Obama in 2016, while Grand Staircase-Escalante was established in 1996 by President Clinton.
President Trump will on Monday announce plans to slash the size of two USA national parks, provoking fury from environmentalists, native american tribes and conservationists. Patagonia said the move was "illegal" and constituted the "largest elimination of protected land in American history". The Act does not, however, give Trump or any other president the authority to undo, in part or in full, the designation of monuments by past presidents.
Native American tribes and conservation groups are mounting legal challenges, even as the administration turns its focus to possibly shrinking half a dozen more in other states. "We'll be seeing President Trump in court".
At the center of this sage brush battle is a relatively obscure federal law called the Antiquities Act.
"To see those eroded away after the antiquities act that passed in 1906 by Teddy Roosevelt, who was a republican by the way".
Valley of the Gods in Bears Ears National Monument, Utah, May 11, 2017.
Today, the president signed two proclamations drastically cutting land from two federal monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, by 80 percent and 45 percent, respectively. A coalition of Native American tribes also said it would sue the Trump Administration over the reduction of the Bears Ears Monument.
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In a statement Monday, NARF said: "President Trump's action to revoke and replace the Bears Ears National Monument is not only an attack on the five sovereign nations with deep ties to the Bears Ears region, it is a complete violation of the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution".
Unlike national parks, which are established by Congress, the Antiquities Act allows national monuments to be designated either by Congress or the president.
Trump will also ask Congress to look at the areas that are being removed from the current monuments to consider designating some as a national conservation or national recreation areas, and create a co-management structure for tribes, an administration official said.
Tribes and conservationists have been preparing lawsuits for months.
The reasoning behind the move is to designate as protected "the smallest area compatible with the protection of the objects of scientific or historic interest", and the proclamation also opens the newly public lands to "disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing; and location, entry, and patent under the mining laws".
Trump's announcement, which amounts to the largest rollback of national monument land designation in US history, follows a months-long review by the Interior Department that he ordered in April to identify which of 27 monuments designated by past presidents should be rescinded or resized to provide states and local governments more control of the land.