Trump announces major changes for Bears Ears, Grand Staircase monuments
WATCH: "Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what, they're wrong," Trump said in his announcement at the Utah State Capitol on Monday.

President Donald Trump announced today that two national monuments in Utah will be drastically reduced in size, despite the objections of Native American groups who want the land to remain protected.

The Bears Ears National Monument will be reduced by more than 80 percent, to 230,000 acres from the current 1.3 million acres. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will also be reduced to about 1 million acres from 1.9 million acres.

President Trump ordered the review of 27 national monuments, mostly in western states, by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

The White River Narrows Archeological District in The Basin and Rang... Photo Credit: Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management
The 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in Utah contains thousands of archeological sites, including the Cedar Mesa House on Fire (pictured). Ancient cliff dwellings, abundant rock art, ceremonial ki... Photo Credit: Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management
A wonderland of biodiversity, Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in northern California boasts scenic landscapes of rolling, oak-studded hills, steep creek canyons, white-water rivers and incredible star... Photo Credit: Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management
Archaeological sites abound across Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado. Pueblos from around 1200 A.D., dot the landscape of the Four Corners area. With over 6,000 Puebloan cliff dwellings reco... Photo Credit: Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management
Traversed by the San Andreas Fault, a diverse community of wildlife and plant species make the Carrizo Plain National Monument in California home. The area contains Soda Lake, a normally dry lake bed with the l... Photo Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Located at the crossroads of the Cascade, Klamath, and Siskiyou mountain ranges, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon is recognized by scientists for its outstanding ecological value. Three geologic... Photo Credit: Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management
A vast area of lava, cinder cones and sagebrush, Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, was formed by eight major eruptive periods. Often described as resembling the surface of the moon, the second gro... Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Designated by President Bill Clinton in April of 2000, the Giant Sequoia National Monument encompasses over 328,000 acres and contains one of the world's largest trees, as well as an area of Sequoia trees known... Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images
Rugged and remote, Gold Butte National Monument covers nearly 300,000 acres in southeastern Nevada, where chiseled red sandstone, twisting canyons, and tree-covered mountains interrupt desolate stretches of the... Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management
The Grand-Canyon-Parashant National Monument is located on the northern edge of the Grand Canyon in northwest Arizona. There are no paved roads into the monument and no visitor services. The 1,048,325-acre monu... Photo Credit: National Park Service
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument spans nearly 1.9 million acres of America's public lands. From its spectacular Grand Staircase of cliffs and terraces, across the rugged Kaiparowits Plateau, to the w... Photo Credit: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images
The Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington state is made up of sweeping plains and towering bluffs with a diverse array of wildlife that produce mule deer, coyotes, bald eagles, great blue herons, and wh... Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Ironwood Forest National Monument takes its name from one of the longest living trees in the Arizona desert. Keeping company with the ironwood trees are mesquite, paloverde, creosote, and the saguaro. The Silve... Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management
A view of Mount Katahdin is seen from Route 159 in Patten, bordering the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Aug. 27, 2016. President Barack Obama designated this area as a national monument on Aug. 24... Photo Credit: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
A hydromedusa jellyfish is seen during an NOAA exploration of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument on April 24, 2016. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Mariana Trench is the deepest p... Photo Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
Mojave Trails National Monument spans 1.6 million acres, more than 350,000 acres of previously congressionally-designated wilderness. The Mojave Trails National Monument is comprised of a stunning mosaic of rug... Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management
A Paramuricea coral grows in Nygren Canyon southeast of Cape Cod, Mass. on August 8, 2013. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument, located off the coast of Cape Cod, covers an area slightly large... Photo Credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico was established to protect significant prehistoric, historic, geologic, and biologic resources of scientific interest. The Organ Mountains are a ... Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management
Palm trees cover Palmyra Island and its associated offshore islets in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. The monument contains a collection of islands, reefs and atolls that make up one of the... Photo Credit: LCDR Eric Johnson, NOAA Corps
Two Laysan albatross do a mating dance on Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands on the northern edge of the recently expanded Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, now the world's biggest ocea... Photo Credit: Lucy Pemoni/AP Photo
The Ri­o Grande del Norte National Monument in Taos, New Mexico is made up of wide open plains dotted by volcanic cones, and cut by steep canyons with rivers tucked away in their depths. The Río Gran... Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management
Damselfish swim through coral in the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument, approximately 130 nautical miles east-southeast of Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa. According to the NOAA, Rose Atoll is the most impor... Photo Credit: Kevin Lino NOAA/NMFS/PIFSC/ESD
The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument covers 342,177 acres of the Angeles National Forest and 4,002 acres of neighboring San Bernardino National Forest. The area is within 90 minutes of 15 million people ... Photo Credit: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
Home to the region's tallest alpine mountain that rises from the floor of the Sonoran Desert, the Sand to Snow National Monument also protects sacred, archaeological and cultural sites, including an estimated 1... Photo Credit: The White House Archives
The Sonoran Desert National Monument sits on 486,400 acres of public land southwest of Phoenix, Ariz., and was designated a monument by proclamation in 2001 by President Bill Clinton. The order read in part, &q... Photo Credit: Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management
Upper Missouri River Breaks covers 378,000 acres of public land in Montana and features six wilderness study areas and canoeing along an area documented in journals from the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1805. Photo Credit: Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management
The 280,000-acre Vermilion Cliffs National Monument contains the Paria Plateau, Vermilion Cliffs, Coyote Buttes, and Paria Canyon. The area was declared a monument in 2000 by President Clinton. Photo Credit: Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management
"Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what, they're wrong," Trump said in his announcement at the Utah State Capitol on Monday.

The land will still be managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, however, even though it is no longer part of a national monument, according to an official from the Interior Department. Bears Ears has also been managed by a local commission of representatives from the five tribes in the area who provide recommendations to the agencies managing the land.

"It is still federal land, with all the protections of federal land. The biggest change is we are allowing greater use on the areas that were previously in the monument," Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said on Air Force One, saying that the move will allow grazing on land that is no longer part of the monument as well as recreation activities.

But critics of the decision say that shrinking monuments is bad for local economies that rely on tourism and outdoor recreation. The Outdoor Industry Association tweeted today that it is against shrinking Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase, and New Mexico Democratic Sen. Tom Udall also said it would be bad for the recreation economy.

Trump said Monday the announcement would give locals a greater say in how the land was managed, but tribes that consider the monument sacred and live in reservations adjoining the current borders say they have not been consulted equally in making the decision to change the borders. Zinke said they worked with the Utah Governor's Office and state officials to make sure antiquities were still included in the borders of the monument.

“The Navajo Nation has made repeated requests to meet with President Trump on this issue. The Bears Ears Monument is of critical importance, not only to the Navajo Nation but to many tribes in the region,” Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said in a statement. “The decision to reduce the size of the Monument is being made with no tribal consultation. The Navajo Nation will defend Bears Ears. The reduction in the size of the Monument leaves us no choice but to litigate this decision.”

The official pushed back on concerns that there will be oil and gas drilling permitted on land that used to be part of the monuments, saying there isn't a lot of interest in drilling on that land. The Bureau of Land Management announced last week that parcels of land in the same county as the monuments will be put up for auction for oil and gas drilling in March.

Bears Ears was declared a national monument by President Barack Obama in 2016 and is unique in that five Native American tribes from the area came together the ask the administration to protect the land. Grand Staircase-Escalante was declared a national monument by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

The move is controversial and is expected to face immediate legal challenges from Native American tribes who consider the land sacred as well as conservation groups who want the land to retain its monument status. They say that the Antiquities Act grants the president the authority to create national monuments but not the power to eliminate them.

Trump initiated the process of reviewing monuments created under the Antiquities Act in an executive order signed in April. Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke then visited several of the monuments under review and ultimately made his recommendations to the president in May.

President Donald Trump smiles upon signing an executive order after announcing big cuts to Utah's sprawling wilderness national monuments at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Dec. 4, 2017.

Monday's announcement is not the first time a president has looked into making a national monument smaller.

In 1938 President Franklin Roosevelt was considering whether to abolish a national monument in South Carolina but the attorney general at the time, Homer Cummings, found that he did not have that authority, according to a Congressional Research Service report. President John F Kennedy also altered the borders of Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico in 1963 citing the Antiquities Act.

The Congressional Research Service wrote a report on this issue in 2016 that found that while the Antiquities Act doesn't specifically grant the president the power to shrink or eliminate monuments it does say that monument size "shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected," which could be used to justify making the monument smaller.

Monday's announcement only addressed the two monuments in Utah, but a version of Zinke's recommendations reported by the Washington Post included recommendations to modify eight additional monuments and create four new ones. It's unclear when the president will announce his decision on those monuments.