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Federal Agency Issues Proposals For Downsized Utah Monuments

Bears Ears National Monument

The U.S. government is issuing draft proposals for how it would like to manage two national monuments in Utah that were significantly downsized by President Donald Trump last year in a move that angered conservation and tribal groups and triggered lawsuits.

The Bureau of Land Management said in documents posted Wednesday that the agency's preferred plan among four options for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument would be the "least restrictive to energy and mining development."

The agency says the preferred plan for the Bears Ears National Monument would allow for multiple uses, preserve similar recreation levels while adding "flexibility" for management decisions.

In December, Trump downsized the Bears Ears National Monument by about 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly half.