An important moment in Utah’s history

The destruction of everything is well underway.

The Interior Department on Wednesday adopted final management plans that allow for mining, drilling and other development on lands that the administration recently removed from Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah.

Because it’s always better to destroy irreplaceable landscapes to make short-term money than it is to preserve them.

The resource management plans “mark an important moment in Utah’s history by providing certainty to local communities, business owners, permittees and the recreating public,” Casey Hammond, Interior’s acting assistant secretary for land and minerals management, said in a call with reporters. 

Yes, certainty that much of the two monuments will be permanently destroyed.

The Trump administration has said that shrinking the monuments was about reversing federal overreach and not aimed at boosting energy and mineral development, but reporting by The New York Times and other outlets found otherwise. The boundary of Bears Ears National Monument, a 1.35 million-acre landscape named after a pair of buttes and home to thousands of Native American archeological and cultural sites, was shrunk roughly 85%. The 1.87 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the largest land national monument in the country, was cut roughly in half.

Conservation groups, including those currently suing the administration over the monument rollbacks, slammed Wednesday’s announcement.

“It’s the height of arrogance for Trump to rush through final decisions on what’s left of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante while we’re fighting his illegal evisceration of these national monuments in court,” Randi Spivak, public lands director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “Trump is eroding vital protections for these spectacular landscapes. We won’t rest until all of these public lands are safeguarded for future generations.” 

Trump has never seen a spectacular landscape he didn’t want to cover with Trump towers.

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