Monuments being reduced hold cliff dwellings, scenic cliffs
The Associated Press

Two national monuments in Utah that President Donald Trump is going to significantly reduce include ancient cliff dwellings and scenic canyons as well as areas that could be used for energy development.

Trump made his announcement about Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments during a speech Monday in Salt Lake City. The sites were among 27 that Trump ordered U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review this year.

Here is a closer look at the two monuments:


Barack Obama created the monument shortly before leaving the White House, marking a victory for Native Americans and conservationists. It was a blow to Republican leaders who campaigned to prevent what they call a layer of unnecessary federal control that hurts local economies by closing the area to new energy development.

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

Tucked between existing national parks and the Navajo Nation, the monument is on land considered sacred to a coalition of tribes and is home to an estimated 100,000 archaeological sites. Tribal members visit the area to perform ceremonies, collect herbs and wood for medicinal and spiritual purposes, and do healing rituals.

The monument features a mix of cliffs, plateaus, towering rock formations, rivers and canyons. It brings visitors to enjoy hiking, backpacking, canyoneering, mountain biking and rock climbing.


As president, Bill Clinton created the monument in 1996 to preserve scenic cliffs, canyons, waterfalls and arches. Actor and Utah resident Robert Redford appeared at the ceremony.

In heavily Republican Utah, the move was viewed as federal overreach that still irks GOP officials. Many Utah Republicans and some residents say it closed off too many areas to development — including one of the country's largest known coal reserves — that could have helped pay for schools.

Zinke noted in a memo to Trump that "several billion tons of coal and large oil deposits" lie within the monument's boundaries. He also said that while the amount of cattle grazing allowed there is the same as it was in 1996, the number of cows has decreased because of restrictions on moving water lines, vegetation management and maintenance of fences and roads.