But doesn’t Trump’s latest move sounds oddly familiar? If it does, that’s because Brazilian President Michel Temer tried to do the same earlier this year. In August, President Temer tried to abolish the Renca reserve, an area in the Amazon the size of Denmark, in order to attract foreign investment, improve exports and boost Brazil’s struggling economy. That plan failed when, after massive public outcry, a federal judge blocked Temer’s attempt and declared he had overstepped his presidential authority.
Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
In the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history, President Donald Trump reduced the size of two national monuments in Utah by about two million acres. Bears Ears National Monument will be reduced by 85 percent of its current size and Grand Staircase-Escalante to about half of its current size. Trump’s move comes as a victory for Republican lawmakers and business interests, who have long been pushing for more local control of federally controlled land in Utah, which makes up almost two-thirds of the state’s area. But environmentalists and some native nations have warned that the decision will destroy the national heritage and threaten some 100,000 sites of archaeological importance. Outdoor companies like Patagonia and REI, alongside the Navajo Nation and other tribes, have already filed lawsuits to fight the decision.