Oct 7 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will restore the boundaries of three American nature reserves, known as national monuments, that were reduced in size by former President Donald Trump to allow commercial activity, the White House said on Thursday.
The restoration will protect more than 3.2 million acres (1.3 million hectares) in Southern Utah known as the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, as well as the nearly 5,000 square mile (8,000 sq km) Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New England.
Environmental groups and Native American tribes cheered the news, calling it a victory for conservation over development. But it was a blow to East Coast fishing interests and Utah’s Republican governor, who expressed frustration.
Trump had sought to allow ranching, drilling, mining and commercial fishing in the areas, which were established as monuments by two of his Democratic predecessors, former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
The reduction was part of Republican Trump’s broader agenda to loosen regulations on industry, which critics have decried as coming at the expense of the environment and wildlife.
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