US President Donald Trump signed on Monday in Utah the largest reduction in federal land in the history of the country. The rule will affect two reserves of that state, enabling about two million hectares that belonged to the Government for the development of private activities. Trump continues with this measure the dismantling of the protections to this type of land approved by its predecessors.
"Some believe that Utah's natural resources should be controlled by a few distant bureaucrats located in Washington." And, you know what? "They're wrong," said the president in a speech in the State Parliament, from which he announced that 85% of the Bears Ears National Reserve and half of Grand Staircase-Escalante would no longer be federally owned. "Together, we'll achieve a new future of wonders and richness," Trump said in Salt Lake City.
The measure opens the door to the exploitation of the lands by means of activities like the extraction of oil and gas, mining or logging. It will also encourage construction and commercial development. In April, the president has already signed an order to lift the veto of these holdings on federal land. The land of Bears Ears was designated under federal protection in 2016 by then-President Barack Obama. Grand Staircase-Escalante was protected from 1996.
Not everything is sentenced. Environmental protection groups and members of five tribes of American Indians residing in the natural areas, including the Navajos, whom the president honored at the White House last week, have asserted that they will present lawsuits against the rule of Trump. "We have tried to meet with the President on this matter." The Land of bears Ears (bear ears, in Castilian) is of vital importance to us. "The decision, taken without consultation, leaves us no choice but to litigate," said the president of the Navajos. As has happened with other controversial orders of the president the final decision on the measure could be left to the courts.
Today's announcement is a victory for Republicans who for years have considered that belonging to the land Government was an abuse of their power. Trump is not ruled out to reduce the land of other reserves. In April, the Republican ordered his secretary of the Interior to review the 27 terrains as the two of today's existing in the country.