Biden Restores Protections for National Monuments, Reversing Trump-Era Policy

Conservationists and Native American groups were outraged when Donald Trump stripped-down safeguards around natural areas, which are sometimes home to endangered species or ancient sites.

Biden Restores Protections for National Monuments, Reversing Trump-Era Policy
Biden Restores Protections for National Monuments, Reversing Trump-Era Policy

Three national US monuments will regain their protected status on Friday, extending Joe Biden's efforts to reverse his predecessor's environmental policies. Conservationists and Native American groups were outraged when Donald Trump stripped-down safeguards around natural areas, which are sometimes home to endangered species or ancient sites.

"President Biden will sign three proclamations restoring protections for Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monuments," the White House said Thursday. After Trump reduced approximately 45 percent of its acreage in 2017, Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante will revert to its original size of 1.87 million acres. Under Biden's proposals, Bears Ears will grow. 

New fishing restrictions will gradually reduce the harvest of red crabs and American lobsters in maritime areas, such as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, until the practice is outlawed in September 2023. According to reports in the US media, Biden will sign the orders on Friday. 

There are over 100,000 archaeological sites in the area, including 5,000-year-old rock art and the skeletons of 21 previously unknown dinosaur species.