President Trump sharply reduced the size of two national monuments in Utah on Monday by some two million acres, the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history.
The administration shrank Bears Ears National Monument, a sprawling region of red rock canyons, by 85 percent, and cut another monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante, to about half its current size. The move, a reversal of protections put in place by Democratic predecessors, comes as the administration pushes for fewer restrictions and more development on public lands.
“Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington,” Mr. Trump said, speaking at Utah’s State Capitol beneath a painting of Mormon pioneers. “And guess what? They’re wrong.”
“Together,” he continued, “we will usher in a bright new future of wonder and wealth.”
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President Donald Trump met with key Mormon Church leaders Dec. 4 at Welfare Square where they discussed religious liberties and the mission of the Church’s global welfare program.
The American president visited with President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency; President Russell M. Nelson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé; and Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president.
During the closed, late-morning meeting, the Church leaders and President Trump, along with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), discussed religious liberty and the Church’s welfare programs. The president praised the Church’s humanitarian efforts and also recognized President Nelson’s renown as a heart surgeon.
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8:00 am: Departs White House
10:40 am MT: Arrives Salt Lake City, Utah
11:20 am MT: Meets with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Leaders; Latter-Day Saints Welfare Square, Salt Lake City
11:45 am MT: Tours The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Welfare Square
12:40 pm MT: Makes remarks at the Utah State Capitol; Salt Lake City
1:35 pm MT: Departs Salt Lake City
7:35 pm: Arrives White House