USA

Thousands protest Washington's shrinking plan for national monuments


Los Angeles, Dec 3 (IANS): About 5,000 protesters gathered on Saturday in front of the Utah State Capitol against a plan proposed by the federal government to shrink two national monuments in the state.

It was reported that the plan would be announced by US President Donald Trump when he visits Utah next Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The rally was organised by Utah Dine Bikeyah, a non-profit and grassroots Native American organization working to protect and preserve cultural uses of public lands by tribes in southern Utah.

These tribes are collaboratively managing Bears Ears National Monument in the state, the first truly Native American national monument, so that they have showed their strong opposition against the plan to reduce the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

The two monuments were designated by former presidents Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton respectively.

Documents obtained by The Washington Post suggested that Bears Ears would be reduced by 85 per cent, from 1.35 million acres (5,463 square kilometres) to 201,397 acres (815 square kilometres), while Grand Staircase-Escalante was to be halved from nearly 1.9 million acres (7,689 square kilometres) to 997,490 acres (4,037 square kilometres).

Trump is scheduled to visit Utah on Monday and deliver a speech at the Capitol, local media predicted that he would officially announce the decision to shrink size of the two monuments.

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