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    Trump slashes Utah land protections

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    President Trump on Monday shank two massive, controversial national monuments in Utah, potentially opening thousands of acres to drilling, mining and grazing.

    The reductions erase efforts to preserve the monuments by President Obama and President Clinton, and represent the largest-ever rollback of protected areas in history, environmental groups say.

    Trump signed two proclamations, one scaling back Obama’s 1.4-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument to 220,000 acres — an 84 percent reduction — and another reducing Clinton’s 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to 1 million acres. It’s the

    Both monuments in southern Utah have long been opposed by state leaders. Obama and Clinton created them under the Antiquities Act, which gives presidents authority to unilaterally protect any federally owned area from development, with few restrictions.

    “Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They’re wrong,” Trump said during a visit to Salt Lake City where he made the announcement.

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