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Cortez Masto, Others Urge Trump Not To Roll Back Bears Ears Designation

Western Democrats are pressuring President Donald Trump not to rescind land protections put in place by President Barack Obama, including Utah's Bears Ears National Monument.

In a letter this week, nine Western Democratic senators, including Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), wrote Trump to say that weakening protections for Bears Ears or any other national monument would be a direct affront to local communities and stakeholders.

Obama infuriated Utah Republicans when he created the monument in late December on 1.3 million acres of land that is sacred to Native Americans and home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings. Republicans have asked Trump to take the unusual step of reversing the designation, saying it will add another layer of unnecessary federal control and close the area to new energy development.