By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a proposed management plan and final environmental impact statement for the Bears Ears National Monument (BENM). The management plan is subject to a 30-day public protest period.
President Obama established the BENM on December 28, 2016. On December 4, 2017, President Trump reduced the size of the BENM by 85%, from about 1.4 million acres to 200,000 acres. The monument is co-managed by the BLM and U.S. Forest Service, along with a coalition of five local Native American tribes. The proposed management plan includes limited use for off-highway vehicles in designated areas, with no land being designated as wilderness.
The BENM is still subject to court lawsuits challenging whether the Antiquities Act allows a president to reduce the size of a national monument. Although this has occurred in the past, the reduction has never been so dramatic.
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