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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 was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.