Photo: Hoodoos at sunrise in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management)
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Earlier this month, President Trump announced to a cheering crowd at the Utah state capitol that he would be removing hundreds of thousands of acres from two national monuments designated by previous Democratic presidents. The move was a triumph for many residents who live around the monuments and the federally controlled public lands. Many Utahans are still angry about the creation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, created by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Trump’s action drastically reduces Clinton’s monument from nearly 1.9 million acres to just under a million. The Bears Ears Monument, designated by President Obama, will be chopped by as much as 85 percent, going from 1.3 million acres to just over 200 thousand acres. Trump’s executive orders have generated lots of controversy, and, already, several lawsuits.
The big political story of the day is obviously from Alabama. Last night Democrat Doug Jones won the US Senate race in an upset victory over Republican Roy Moore. There were nearly 23,000 write-ins for other candidates, but was this race an outlier because of the sexual molestation accusations against Moore or a turning tide against Republicans?
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