(Reuters) – President Joe Biden is expected to restore the boundaries of three American national monuments that were downsized by former President Donald Trump, state and federal officials said on Thursday.
The announcement, expected on Friday, would protect large areas in Utah and in the Atlantic Ocean. Trump had sought to allow ranching, drilling, mining and commercial fishing in the areas, which were established as monuments, or nature reserves, by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
Utah Governor Spencer Cox said in a statement that his state’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, which had been drastically downsized under Trump, would be expanded.
Separately, House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raul Grijalva said in a statement the marine Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean would also be restored.
The Interior Department, which oversees national monuments, would not comment. The White House was not immediately available for comment.
Under federal law, presidents have the authority to create or alter national monuments unilaterally, which makes their protections uncertain over time.
Biden to restore boundaries of national monuments that were reduced by Trump-officials
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