Utah sues Biden administration over national monuments’ restoration

SALT LAKE CITY – The state of Utah and two Republican-leaning rural counties sued the Biden administration on Wednesday over the president’s decision last year to restore two sprawling national monuments on rugged lands sacred to Native Americans that former President Donald Trump had downsized.

The lawsuit over Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, the two southeastern Utah monuments, alleges that President Joe Biden’s action violates a century-old law that allows presidents to protect sites considered historically, geographically or culturally important and outlines the rules governing when they can do I know.

The fate of the monuments is among the United States’ most prominent battles over public lands and how they’re managed. Federal land management decisions often become politically charged throughout the rural West, where Republican-leaning ranching communities skeptical of federal overreach are often pitted against conservationists and tribes who argue robust federal protections are needed as a bulwark against development or industries like mining or logging.

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