NRDC, Partners Sue Trump to Block Bears Ears Revocation

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Posted: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 9:25 pm | Updated: 5:10 pm, Wed Jan 3, 2018.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, together with Earthjustice on behalf of nine other groups, filed a lawsuit to block the Trump administration from revoking Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument.

The groups filed the complaint in federal court here, claiming that President Trump exceeded his authority under the Constitution and violated the 1906 Antiquities Act.

"President Trump grossly exceeded his authority in this shameful attempt to hand over sacred lands to polluters and private commercial interests," said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "His order is not just illegal, but a serious affront to every American who values our country’s natural heritage. This landscape, with its petroglyphs, stone villages and sheer natural splendor, has been the homeland to indigenous peoples for thousands of years.

"We look forward to fighting in court to forever preserve these historical, natural and cultural treasures that are held in trust for future generations."

President Trump issued a proclamation aimed at stripping protections from more than 1 million acres of the Utah monument, which would leave them vulnerable to fossil fuel extraction, mining and other threats. His order would replace Bears Ears National Monument with 2 new fragments, and even those lands would lack protection from destructive action such as road-building and grazing.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke conducted a "review" of some two dozen land and marine monuments in which nearly 3 million Americans asked the Trump administration to protect, and not roll back, these designations.

SOURCE: Natural Resources Defense Fund

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