In April President Trump instructed the Department of Interior to review Grand-Staircase Escalante’s monument designation. On Aug 24th, according to a leaked copy of his report, Secretary Zinke recommended erasing protections: shrinking the monument and allowing mining, logging and drilling in currently protected areas.
Established: September 18, 1996
Why is Grand Staircase-Escalante Threatened?"Most of the ecological communities contained in the monument have low resistance to, and slow recovery from, disturbance." Unfortunately, under that fragile crust is coal, as well as high potential for oil and gas development. This year, the oil and gas industry has proposed fracking in 57,000 acres of public lands nearby in southern Utah.
What can we do?We can challenge President Trump and Secretary Zinke's unprecedented move to potentially ERASE protections for Grand Staircase-Escalante. The legal case against the president is strong -- the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 affirmed that only Congress has the authority to modify national monuments. But in addition to lawsuits we need the Senators from Utah to do all they can to make sure Grand Staircase-Escalante protections remain in place.
Both Sens. Hath and Lee are on record as opposing Grand Staircase-Escalante. We need to remind them of how important it is to protect it.