On Monday, President Donald Trump removed about two million acres from the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. While environmental activists were angry about the decision, many local politicians are pleased.
San Juan and Kane County commissioners rejoiced over the president’s decision.
Kane County Commissioner Jim Matson says farming and mineral extraction, which will come as a result of the Grand Staircase-Escalante reduction, will help the local economy in addition to tourism.
“I know a lot of ranching people. I know folks that are also in the mineral extraction business, so we’d like to be able to facilitate those uses and have our economy benefit from the standpoint of the commodity develop that’s possible and also the scenic and tourism related aspects that we can enjoy as well,” Matson said.
Matson also believes local control of the environment will be more beneficial than leaving care in the hands of the federal government.
“You can’t take these ecosystems and these large areas and just park them. They’re dynamic and they continue to evolve and grow.”
San Juan County Commissioner Bruce Adams says the reduction of Bears Ears will help support families in the area.
“We have a large number of families who have family farms and ranches for a long, long time and I know these families want to continue ranching, raising cattle. They enjoy that lifestyle, that’s what they’ve chosen as their means for providing for their families.”
Both commissioners say they are hopeful for the future, and thanked the president for his decision.