Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national parks became much smaller this year. A significant portion of land that once used to be preserved by the National Park Service
has now been opened to mining
, United States officials announced on Thursday
President Trump initially shrunk both national parks
by executive order this past December, causing lawsuits and backlash from tribal and environmental groups along with major outdoor brands.
In 1996, the Clinton administration designated Grand Staircase-Escalante as a national monument, while the Obama administration designated Bears Ears as a national monument in 2016 to preserve the archeological, cultural, and natural resources unique to the region.