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Op-Ed: Feds 'Obsessed' with Undermining National Monument

Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is under severe assault from the Trump administration, Stephen Trimble writes. Long the focus of preservation efforts, the protected land is being opened up for extractive uses.
September 29, 2019, 9am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Bureau of Land Management

Writing of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Stephen Trimble describes "a precious permanent stream in arid country, an Edenic landscape of waterfalls and springs in a maze of sinuous sandstone canyons. The river's remoteness has been the Escalante's bane and gift — sparing archaeological and paleontological wonders."

But with the Trump administration in charge, all of that may be in danger. Trump's "Department of the Interior seems to have a particular hunger for destroying Utah's irreplaceable redrock canyons and a tragic obsession with undermining the integrity of the Escalante," Trimble writes.

The Bureau of Land Management has taken several actions to compromise the protected land, including a major reduction in the monument's size in 2017 and a proposed resource management plan that "cater[s] even more absolutely to extractive industry, damaging off-road vehicles, and the whims of a tiny number of elected officials."

Trimble condemns the "pathetically Western pipe-dream" of extractive industry fueling unlimited growth: "Introducing cows to the riparian oasis of the Escalante is no way to treat an icon."

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, September 5, 2019 in The Hill
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