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Trump may have actually increased the size of Bears Ears Monument

By Ron Dungan
Published: Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 4:04pm
Updated: Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 10:55am

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Jonah Yellowman
Laurel Morales/KJZZ
Navajo elder Jonah Yellowman picks up a piece of pottery lying on the ground of the new Bears Ears National Monument.

Conservationists and tribes were outraged when former President Trump reduced the size of Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah, creating a major public lands controversy.

But Trump’s actions may have ultimately expanded the monument.

The monument was created during the Obama administration to protect an area rich in ancient Pueblo villages, rock art and artifacts.

Trump’s decision to shrink the monument resulted in a redrawn map that cut out more than a million acres.

But it also added 12,000 acres. When Biden restored the monument, he included those additional acres.

“Well I do think it is ironic that, you know, in the end it’s going to be bigger than it originally was under President Obama,” said Matthew Campbell of the Native American Rights Fund.

Campbell said that even Obama’s version of the monument still did not protect all the lands the tribes had wanted.

To learn more about monument's size, The Show spoke with KJZZ's Ron Dungan, who covers environmental issues.

Hear Ron Dungan's Interview With Host Lauren Gilger On The Show


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