The Trump administration finalized plans Thursday to allow mining and drilling on previously protected lands in two national monuments in Utah.
Trump initially announced plans to roll back the acreage of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments in December 2017. It was a move that marked the largest reduction of national monument protections in US history, shrinking Bears Ears by 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante by half.
Thursday’s final orders will officially allow proposals for development to begin this fall, despite active lawsuits from conservation groups.
There has been little interest shown so far from fossil fuel companies in developing projects on the land.