Legal analysis argues Trump could revoke Bears Ears

Bears EarsA new legal analysis concludes that President Trump could undo the Bears Ears National Monument.


The analysis from the Pacific Legal Foundation finds that a president can revoke a national monument if they determine the areas under protection are “illegally large.” The analysis was conducted by Todd Gaziano and John Yoo.

From E&E News:

Yoo and Gaziano argue, however, that even if a president does not have a “general discretionary revocation power,” Trump could seek to revoke monuments by declaring them overly large.


“The Congress that enacted the Antiquities Act did not intend monuments of that size to be established by presidential designation,” the pair wrote, asserting that early monuments tended to be 5,000 acres or less.


They later added: “If a president makes a credible determination, based on the facts and a reasonable interpretation of the act, that some former monuments are illegally large relative to the original ‘object’ supposedly being protected, he could declare that the initial designation was void, especially if there is no easy way to make it lawful by severing discrete parcels of land.”

No president has ever overturned a national monument, but they have reduced their size on occasion.

The Utah Legislature rushed through a pair of resolutions calling on President Trump to undo the Bears Ears National Monument and reduce the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante. Gov. Gary Herbert was in Washington, D.C. earlier this week where he invited Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and President Donald Trump to visit Utah and Bears Ears to discuss public lands issues.