Utah Lawmaker Wants Trump To Get Rid Of A New National Monument

It might be harder than Rep. Rob Bishop thinks for President Donald Trump to get rid of national monuments like Bears Ears.
Posted at 1:45 PM, Feb 05, 2017

The Bears Ears National Monument is only a few weeks old, but Rep. Rob Bishop from Utah is already trying to change that.

Former President Barack Obama created the national monument not long before he left office. That essentially makes new developments on the land impossible, and that's what's upsetting Bishop.

Obama used the Antiquities Act, which allows any president to create a national monument without needing to consult Congress. 

Bishop says Obama never took into account how the land could be used. So he's asking President Donald Trump to either shrink the monument or get rid of it all together.

But that's a pretty big ask. One expert told NPR the Antiquities Act doesn't really allow for presidents to change or eliminate national monuments. Instead, only Congress can revoke them.

One of the reasons Bears Ears was created is because Native Americans in the area consider the land sacred. And a committee of the Navajo Nation Council unanimously voted to oppose revoking the national monument. 

In fact, Native Americans were instrumental in the creation of Bears Ears. And Bears Ears is unique because representatives from five tribes will help federal agencies in managing the land.

Utah's legislature also wants to eliminate Bears Ears. State lawmakers worry that preventing development on the land will have a negative impact on rural communities.

But some economic studies have found that national monuments are a boon to communities in the surrounding areas.