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New study shows downgrading of PAs is widespread

For want of timber and other natural resources, the federal government during a three-decade period early in the 20th century steadily whittled away at Yosemite National Park, eventually carving off about a third of that icon of the National Park System. Leap forward to early in the 21st century, and for want of energy and multiple-use benefits, President Trump is trying to remove 85 percent of Bears Ears National Monument from within its original borders.

Ongoing litigation will decide whether Trump has his way, but for now the shredding of Bears Ears and nearby Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (from which the president has cut away 51 percent of the original monument), both in Utah, represents a staggering loss to U.S. protected areas -- national parks, forests, and other federal lands -- that play key roles in not just preserving biodiversity but as recreational outlets.

[Ed. note: The report can be read here: ]

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