Native American tribes sue Trump over Bears Ears National Monument

SALT LAKE CITY — A coalition of Native American tribes have filed a lawsuit, challenging President Trump’s authority to shrink the Bears Ears National Monument.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., the Navajo Nation, Hopi, Zuni, Ute Indian and Ute Mountain tribes sued the president and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. They argue President Trump has violated the Antiquities Act, because Congress — not the president — has the authority to revoke or modify existing national monuments.

“The actions taken by President Trump have exposed Bears Ears to devastating damage. President Trump states he consulted with Native peoples, but if that were true, the five Tribes would not be filing this Complaint. Our leadership has been unified in its opposition to any changes to the Monument and in its commitment to defending the Monument,” Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch said in an emailed statement.

A similar lawsuit challenging the president’s authority to shrink Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was filed by environmental groups including The Wilderness Society, Sierra Club and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. That lawsuit was also filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.

Read the tribes’ lawsuit here: