“This would be the easiest thing I’ve ever done as president, so far,” Biden said before announcing.
The Bear Ears National Monument will be restored to 1.36 million acres and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will be restored to 1.87 million acres, according to the official document. In addition, the protection of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts towers off the coast of New England, as established under current President Barack Obama, will be restored.
“I thank the national leaders, who are here with us today and those who are unable to join us. Today I am proud to announce the protection and expansion of the country’s three most important buildings, our most valued, based on the powers vested in the Antiquities Act.”
“The reality is that the National Monument and Parks are part of our identity, our identity as human beings,” the President added. “It is beyond the superstitions of nature, the birthright we have given from generation to generation, the birthright of all Americans. Preserving it is the fulfillment of a promise to our children.”
Biden said his move to protect national buildings again has to do with the climate control system.
“We are not only saving the birds and fish and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them, we are also protecting the natural defenses against the wrath of storms and hurricanes,” Biden said. “Nearly three-quarters of Americans live in areas affected by climate change in recent months – hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, heat waves – the Build Back Better program and my building budget,”
The election marks the reintroduction of the Trump administration that cracked down on Monar Bears Ears, set by Obama, at 85%, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument, elected by President Bill Clinton, by 55 percent.
The two former Democratic leaders chose Utah conservation buildings in hopes of preserving their culture, history and natural beauty. While announcing his bill in 2017, Mr. Trump struck out what he called a “federal overreach” and said past managers thought “Utah’s resources should be controlled by a handful of government officials in Washington. And guess what? They made a mistake.”
Utah Republican Governor Spencer Cox said China in a statement that he had been informed of the decision to increase the size of the buildings by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
“The President’s decision to develop reminders is also a very special opportunity – it fails to provide the facts and funding for law enforcement, investigations, and other protections needed by buildings and the only thing Congress can do,” Cox said.
Republican Sen. Utah’s Mitt Romney has criticized the move, saying China on Twitter that its country’s architecture is being used as “political football.”
“The decision to extend the boundaries of the Bears and the Grand Staircase-Escalante is extremely painful for our constituencies, communities, and our chiefs and our envoy,” said Romney. “The leader has squandered the opportunity to build a partnership and work with stakeholders to find a lasting solution, to resolve a long-running dispute over boundaries and expectations, which would have brought reality and benefits to all stakeholders.”
CNN’s Shawna Mizelle and Andy Rose contributed to this report.