Utah's Lawsuit Over Bears Ears and Grand Staircase is Tossed

by Rod

A federal judge in Utah tossed out a lawsuit brought by the state of Utah … with Kane and Garfield counties … against the federal government in regard to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments.

Utah’s congressional delegation along with state officials including Governor Spencer Cox had brought the lawsuit against the federal government due to the sheer scale of the land designations.

President Trump had reduced both of them in size in January 2021 but Biden restored them to their original designated size. Utah’s contention was that 2/3 of the state was owned by the federal government but they were taking Utah’s land management decisions too far.

The state said “unilateral executive order enlarging the monuments boundaries will not solve the root of the problem and will only deepen divisions in this country.” The federal judge ruled that the Antiquities Act does grant statutory authority to the President to issue proclamations for new monuments.

It looks like the final decision might reach the US Supreme Court as the state say they’re not finished.

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