The “Science Monument” and So Much More
The 1.9 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante has claimed its place as a crown jewel of our nation’s public lands. It was the first monument managed by the BLM to specifically prioritize conservation of cultural, ecological, and scientific values, and it is now world-renowned for its remarkable paleontological discoveries, stunning scenery, and outstanding intact and diverse natural ecosystems.
Since its original establishment in 1996, heightened protections for its geology, paleontology, wildlife, plant communities, and ancestral sites have succeeded in preserving these unique values for generations to come, and local communities on the monument’s doorstep have benefited as well. More than 25 years later, the numerous benefits of protecting Grand Staircase-Escalante are clear: the monument preserves a remarkable ecosystem at the landscape-level and sets the stage for future discovery about human, paleontological, and geologic history on the Colorado Plateau.
Repeal and Restoration
On December 4, 2017, President Trump ignored millions of public comments and repealed Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, slashing it by 47 percent. Thankfully, on October 8th, 2021, President Biden signed a proclamation restoring Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to its full, original boundaries.
All You Need to Know About Grand Staircase-Escalante RMP
This episode’s guest is SUWA Wildlands Attorney Kya Marienfeld, who is heading up SUWA’s official comments on Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. In non-legal terms, she explains the process for monument planning and helps us understand how to effectively engage in making the final plan a guiding document we can all be proud of.