Trump to shrink Bears Ears National Monument

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SOME PLACES HAVE VERY SPECIAL PROTECTIONS BY THE GOVERNMENT. THESE ARE CALLED NATIONAL MONUMENTS. A NATIONAL MONUMENT IS AN AREA OR HISTORIC LANDMARK THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS CHOSEN TO PROTECT, BY LAW.

THE VERY FIRST NATIONAL MONUMENT WAS DEVILS TOWER IN WYOMING WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 24, 1906, BY PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT. IT’S A 5,112 FOOT TALL IGNEOUS ROCK.

ANOTHER SIMILAR MONUMENT IS BEAR’S EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT IN UTAH. LIKE DEVILS TOWER THE BEAR’S EARS ARE BUTTES. A BUTTE IS A STEEP LAND FORM WITH A FLAT TOP. NORMALLY THEY ARE SMALLER THAN THE SIMILARLY SHAPED PLATEAU.

PRESIDENT TRUMP ANNOUNCED THAT HE INTENDS TO SHRINK THE SIZE OF THE LAND THAT IS IN THE BEAR’S EARS.

FORMER PRESIDENT OBAMA DESIGNATED ONE POINT THREE FIVE MILLION ACRES OF LAND TO BE PROTECTED, BUT PRESIDENT TRUMP WANTS TO REDUCE THAT TO JUST OVER 200 THOUSAND ACRES.

REPORTER BILL WEIR TRAVELED TO UTAH TO HEAR BOTH SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT.

BILL WEIR: "LET ME SHOW YOU THE EPICENTER OF WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ENVIRONMENTAL FIGHT OF THE DAY. THERE THEY ARE. SEE THOSE TWO BUTTES? THOSE ARE THE BEARS EARS…BUT THEY ARE JUST A TINY PIECE OF THIS HUGE FIGHT … BECAUSE BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT IS 1.35 MILLION ACRES."

THAT'S OVER TWO-THOUSAND SQUARE MILES OF WILD WESTERN VISTAS, HOLDING A POTENTIAL FORTUNE IN OIL, GAS AND URANIUM UNDERNEATH TENS OF THOUSANDS OF NATIVE AMERICAN RUINS.

TO FOLKS LIKE MARK MARYBOY, THESE SITES ARE WORTH MORE THAN ANY MINERAL.

TO THE NAVAJO AND HOPI, ZUNI AND UTES, THESE CANYONS HOLD THE SPIRITS OF LOVED ONES.

MARK MARYBOY/FORMER SAN JUAN COUNTY COMMISSIONER: "THEY LIVE AMONG US JUST LIKE YOU AND I. YES."

THE PERSON WHO CARVED THIS ART 12-HUNDRED YEARS AGO SIGNED ALL THEIR WORK WITH A WOLF PAW, BUT EQUALLY STRIKING ARE THE MODERN BULLET HOLES.

JUST ONE SIGN OF THE TENSION THAT GOES BACK TO THE FIRST MORMON WAGON TRAINS.

MARK MARYBOY: "THEY DIDN'T WANT TO WORK WITH US. IN FACT ONE OF THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SAYS "YOU GUYS LOST THE WAR. YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS TALKING ABOUT THE LAND PLANNING PROCESS.""

FOR GENERATIONS, NATIVES SOUGHT PROTECTION FOR THIS LAND, BUT IT WASN'T UNTIL THE FIVE TRIBES PUT ASIDE THEIR DIFFERENCES,

RALLIED THE SUPPORT OF RICH OUTDOORSMEN LIKE PATAGONIA FOUNDER YVON CHOUINARD AND LOBBIED THE FEDS. THEY GOT THEIR WISH.

WEEKS BEFORE LEAVING OFFICE, BARACK OBAMA DECLARED BEARS EARS OFF-LIMITS TO ANY NEW DRILLING OR MINING.

AND WHILE SOME CHEERED THE PROSPECT OF A NEW TOURIST ECONOMY, OTHERS SAW IT AS PURE TYRANNY.

PHIL LYMAN/SAN JUAN COUNTY COMMISSIONER: "WE FELT LIKE IT WAS KIND OF A SUCKER PUNCH. IT DIDN'T FEEL RIGHT AND IT HASN'T FELT RIGHT FOR A YEAR"

PHIL LYMAN IS AMONG THE TRUMP SUPPORTERS WHO SPENT THE WEEKEND CHEERING THE PRESIDENT'S DECISION TO SHRINK BEARS EARS AND GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT .

THEY POINT OUT THAT THE BIGGEST, POOREST COUNTY IN UTAH ALREADY HAS FOUR OTHER PARKS AND MONUMENTS.

THEY DON'T WANT ELITES USING THEIR BACKYARD AS A PLAYGROUND AND JUST WANT TO CONTROL THEIR OWN DESTINY.

PHIL LYMAN: "BY DESIGNATING A MONUMENT, WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS YOU ARE USING A TOOL THAT WILL BRING HORDES OF PEOPLE TO A PLACE THAT IS VERY SENSITIVE. THERE'S NOTHING THAT WE WANT TO UNPROTECT. THERE'S 13 LAYERS OF PROTECTION ON ARTIFACTS AND SPECIES AND WILDLIFE AND VEGETATION."

JOSH EWING CAME FROM NEBRASKA TO CLIMB ROCKS ... AND FELL SO HARD FOR THE LANDSCAPES AND HISTORY, HE FORMED AN ADVOCACY GROUP AND IS BUILDING A VISITOR'S CENTER WITH WHATEVER DONATIONS HE CAN RAISE ONLINE.

JOSH EWING: "IF THIS PLACE WAS ANYWHERE ELSE BUT SOUTHERN UTAH, I DON'T CARE IF IT WAS MONGOLIA OR ZIMBABWE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PROTECTED AS A NATIONAL PARK A LONG TIME AGO. BUT BECAUSE OF THE POLITICS OF UTAH, THIS PLACE IS STILL A DEBATE."

IF THESE ROCKS COULD TALK, THEY'D TELL OF CENTURIES OF BLOODY HUMAN CONFLICT BEFORE THE UNITED STATES DECIDED TO SET ASIDE THE SPECIAL PARTS FOR "WE THE PEOPLE".

THIS IS YOUR LAND, BUT BEARS EARS IS A REMINDER THAT HOW IT IS USED ALL COMES DOWN TO HOW YOU VOTE.

RICK: THANKS BILL. HERE IN OHIO, WE HAVE ONE NATIONAL MONUMENT OF OUR OWN. IT’S THE CHARLES YOUNG BUFFALO SOLDIERS NATIONAL MONUMENT IN WILBERFORCE -- ESTABLISHED BY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN MARCH 2013.

IT WAS THE HOME OF CHARLES YOUNG; WHO WAS BORN INTO SLAVERY IN 1847, BUT BY HIS DEATH IN 1922, WAS THE HIGHEST RANKING AFRICAN AMERICAN OFFICER IN THE ARMY.

HE WAS ALSO THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO BE THE SUPERINTENDENT OF A NATIONAL PARK, AND COMMANDED A TROOP OF BUFFALO SOLDIERS – A NAME GIVEN TO BLACK REGIMENTS.

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