The Fight Over Federal Land In The West

Jun 14, 2018

The federal government owns just under half of all the land in the West (check out the map and chart below for more). But a rollback is underway.

Earlier this year, the president reduced the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

The Trump administration says some of the lands should be used “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” But it’s not clear if the executive orders the president has signed will improve access to the land or jeopardize it.

And there’s some misrepresentation on the part of the Trump administration regarding public support for their reductions.’s Vanessa Schipani explains:

Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claimed the Navajo people who “live close” to Bears Ears National Monument “were all in support” of President Donald Trump’s decision to shrink the protected land. But tribe representatives told us that’s false.

In fact, the Navajo Nation and other indigenous tribes have sued the federal government over the president’s decision.

And documents obtained by The New York Times show that energy interests pushed for the monuments to be shrunk.

Who benefits from the rollbacks? Why are some courts pushing back? We’re taking the show on the road, and we’ll be live from KUER in Salt Lake City to discuss.


Judy Fahys, Reporter, KUER News; @judyfutah

Stephen Bloch, Legal director, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Kathleen Sgamma, President, Western Energy Alliance; @KathleenSgamma

Ethel Branch, Attorney general for the Navajo Nation, Window Rock, Navajo Nation (Arizona)

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