The US federal government has announced plans to restore protections for three national monuments: Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts.
“Restoring the Monument’s boundaries and conditions restores its integrity, upholds efforts to honor the federal trust responsibility to Tribal Nations, and conserves these lands and waters for future generations,” said a White House statement announcing the protections last Friday.
All three monuments’ protections were scaled back during the previous administration. This move restores Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument to 1.36 million acres, Grand Staircase-Escalante to 1.87 million acres, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine will no longer allow commercial fishing with crab and lobster fishing phased out by 2023.
The protection of these areas ensures a healthy habitat for the animals which live there as well as the preservation of historic relics including geological objects, fossils, and ancient Native American artifacts.