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President Biden’s Plan to Reinstate National Monument Safeguards


President Biden’s Plan to Reinstate National Monument Safeguards

Credit: Unsplash

Under the previous administration of President Donald Trump, there were adjustments made to the boundaries of three national monuments within the United States. Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument in New England underwent reductions in their sizes. This decision, as stated by the Department of the Interior, aimed to designate areas that were deemed necessary for the preservation of historic and scientific interests, while also permitting land development activities in the shrunk regions.

In recent news, the White House issued a memorandum declaring President Joe Biden’s intention to restore the previous levels of protection for these monuments. The memo underscores that this move is part of a broader strategy to reinstate safeguards for significant natural areas that hold cultural significance for Tribal Nations. The restoration efforts are driven by the objectives of addressing climate change, enhancing public and wildlife well-being, and fostering economic growth.

Regarding the Bears Ears National Monument, the statement emphasized, “By reinstating the monument’s boundaries and conditions, we uphold the commitment to Tribal Nations, preserve the integrity of these lands and waters, and ensure their conservation for future generations.” This action has expanded the protected area to a total of 1.36 million acres.

In reference to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the memo highlights its significance as a repository of “world-class geological features with historical and scientific significance,” thereby justifying the restoration of its protected land area to 1.87 million acres as it stood in 2017.

As for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument, it will now be shielded from commercial fishing activities in accordance with the guidelines established during the Obama administration. The memo outlines the unique geological characteristics of the Canyons and Seamounts units, which support fragile ecological communities facing threats from various human activities, climate change, and related impacts.

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