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Biden to restore boundaries of protected areas that were reduced by Trump

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Oct 7 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will restore the boundaries of three American nature reserves, often called nationwide monuments, that were reduced in measurement by former President Donald Trump to enable business exercise, the White House mentioned on Thursday.

The restoration will defend greater than 3.2 million acres (1.3 million hectares) in Southern Utah often called the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, in addition to the practically 5,000 sq. mile (8,000 sq km) Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument within the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New England.

Environmental teams and Native American tribes cheered the news, calling it a victory for conservation over improvement. But it was a blow to East Coast fishing pursuits and Utah’s Republican governor, who expressed frustration.

Trump had sought to enable ranching, drilling, mining and business fishing within the areas, which were established as monuments by two of his Democratic predecessors, former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

The discount was half of Republican Trump’s broader agenda to loosen laws on business, which critics have decried as coming on the expense of the atmosphere and wildlife.

Biden, a Democrat, mentioned when he took workplace that he would overview Trump’s choice to cut back the monuments’ boundaries. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the primary Native American U.S. Cabinet secretary, this yr beneficial restoring the boundaries.

Under federal regulation, presidents have the authority to create or alter nationwide monuments unilaterally, which makes their safety unsure.

Trump lower the dimensions of the 2 Utah monuments by 2 million acres (809,372 hectares) in all on the request of the state’s Republican management. On Thursday, Utah Governor Spencer Cox mentioned he was disillusioned by Biden’s choice to increase the boundaries.

“These decisions clearly demonstrate the administration’s unwillingness to collaborate with and listen to those most impacted by their decisions,” Cox mentioned, including that the state would take into account its authorized choices.

Bears Ears is dwelling to 1000’s of cultural and archeological websites and is taken into account sacred to Native American tribes within the area, whereas Grand Staircase-Escalante holds vital geological websites, fossils and historic objects.

Protection of the marine monument means business fishing for pink crab and American lobster can be phased out by September 2023, the White House mentioned. Recreational fishing can be allowed.

“Prohibiting hard-working commercial fishermen from sustainably harvesting while allowing owners of luxury yachts to spear fish for the same species in the same location is hypocritical and calls into question this administration’s commitment to working families over wealthy donors,” Bob Vanasse, a spokesperson for seafood foyer group Saving Seafood, mentioned in an emailed assertion.

Reporting by Nichola Groom
Editing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler

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The entrance to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is seen outside of Escalante, Utah, U.S. May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Bob Strong/File Photo

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