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Bears Ears, Grand Staircase monuments survive legal challenge by Utah

In 2017, President Trump downsized a pair of national monuments in southern Utah, fanning the flames of local opposition and creating controversy in the Beehive state.

But both have survived their latest legal challenge.

The monuments have faced opposition from Republican politicians, ranchers and mining interests.

But President Joe Biden restored Bears Ears National Monument, which was created to protect archeological sites in southern Utah, to roughly its original size.

He also restored Grand Staircase Escalante, a preserve set aside during the Clinton administration.

The state of Utah challenged Biden’s actions, but last week, a judge dismissed their case.

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Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.