Utah Republicans are mounting a full-court press on President Trump, asking him to either reduce the size of or eliminate entirely, the new Bears Ears National Monument in Southern Utah.
A clear majority of our "Political Insiders" expect President Trump to act on this request sometime soon.
73% of the Republicans on our panel, 80% of the Democrats and 69% of our readers say Trump will take steps to alter or eliminate the national monument established by President Obama in the final days of his presidency.
Sen. Orrin Hatch says he spoke with President Trump last week, and that Trump is "eager to work with" Republicans on a plan to undo the Bears Ears Monument.
Obama's order protected 1.35 million acres under the Antiquities Act. While Congress has the power to change national monuments, it's uncommon for a president to take action on them. A 1938 legal opinion from the U.S. Attorney General said the president could establish a monument under the Antiquities Act, but it does not give the president the power to eliminate one.
Selected anonymous comments:
"If President Trump is going to take any action regarding Bears Ears, I feel that the issue should be turned over to Congress to give it due diligence (if that is even possible). President Obama justified the creation of this national monument because of the inaction of Congress initially to work out the issue. The system (Congress) that has been ignored several times, by the Obama Administration needs to be given a chance to be reinstated, not bypassed to do the work of the people. The outcome, although not perfect, may have more stakeholders on board than there is now. Another unilateral decision by the President may make the Utah Delegation and some Utah leaders feel better, but it will do nothing to resolve the conflicts which do exist. If President Trump did not like his predecessor ruling by executive order, he needs to get his pen ready to sign well thought out legislation and encourage Congress to be proactive and provide it."
"The only thing the GOP care about is selling off what belongs to ALL people. We will see a complete stripping of funding for national parks, enforcement, and protection. Our wilderness and nature heritage will go to the highest bidder."
"He will do it to build good will in Utah."
"Trump recently self-proclaimed as an environmentalist, so he might not simply reverse President Obama's executive action, but I believe he will either reduce the size of the national monument or ask Congress to study how Obama's action should be modified."
"I would have thought that any rational person would not try to set a precedent by trying to eliminate an existing National Monument. That's probably true, but I wonder if the President is truly rational in this 'post-factual' age."
"I think he will try to win points with his arch-conservative colleagues."
"Pres. Trump will likely be worse in not following the US Constitution than Pres. Obama was."
"I wouldn't be surprised to see this self-declared environmentalist eliminate the new monument with little consideration of both sides of the debate. This laziness and lack of intellectual rigor in this administration are surprising."
"President Trump undoubtedly will take action to reverse the monument designation. The legality of that action undoubtedly will be litigated."
"I hope not. It is obvious our US Congress and Governor are reflecting donations from oil and gas people in their refusal to accept Bears Ears as a National Monument. Look what our National Parks and Monuments have meant to our tourist industry. No other state can offer the vast amount of scenic beauty that Utah is blessed with. It is so obvious of their greed for more development and their denial of climate change."
"I think he will try to make it smaller and it will end up in court."
"He has proven serious about many aggressive actions and is not concerned with confronting the culture of DC. It's on his list of items to fix."
"Public lands aren't part of Trump's agenda and so I guess the window to reverse will close."
"Trump has followed through on many of his other red meat proposals so far. Why wouldn't I think he will do this too?"
"There's a good chance he'll reduce the footprint if for no other reason than to erase Obama's legacy. Iraqis did the same thing with statues of Saddam. Not to worry, our great-grandchildren will still be saddled with Obama's additional $10 trillion credit card bill for a legacy."