Resolutions filed in the Utah House to repeal Bears Ears, shrink Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments

SALT LAKE CITY — Two top Republicans in the state House have filed resolutions urging President Donald Trump to take action on a pair of national monuments in Utah.

In a rare move, House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, filed a resolution Thursday asking the president to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument.

” WHEREAS, the Bears Ears National Monument designation will forever remove the possibility of economic development and decimate the economy of the region with impacts felt around the state; WHEREAS, citizens in rural Utah deserve the equal opportunity to pursue happiness through the protection of their life, liberty, property, and right to determine their own destiny unimpeded by their own federal government,” the resolution states in part.

A protester at a rally in Monticello against the Bears Ears National Monument. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

A protester at a rally in Monticello against the Bears Ears National Monument. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

President Barack Obama designated 1.3 million acres of land in southeastern Utah as the Bears Ears National Monument last month. The move was praised by numerous Native American tribes for preserving a sacred site, but condemned by many in San Juan County and Utah’s Republican political leaders. The state of Utah has threatened a lawsuit over the creation of the monument, accusing the president of abusing the Antiquities Act.

Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, also filed a resolution on Thursday asking President Trump to shrink the boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

A bluff inside the 1.3 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

A bluff inside the 1.3 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

“WHEREAS, for more than 20 years, the GSENM has had a negative impact on the prosperity, development, economy, custom, culture, heritage, educational opportunities, health, and well-being of local communities,” Rep. Noel’s resolution states in part.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was created in 1996 by President Bill Clinton to protests from many in rural Utah.

A resolution in the Utah State Legislature is a statement by the body and carries no legally binding effect.