In the last hours of his presidency, Barack Obama designated two new national monuments — Bears Ears in Utah and Gold Butte in Nevada. That’s more than 1.5 million acres.
The Bears Ears monument takes up an amazing 1.35 million acres, a region larger than the state of Delaware.
President Trump traveled to Salt Lake City to sign the National Monuments Proclamation, which shrinks the Bears Ears and the Grand-Staircase Escalante national monuments spanning millions of acres in Utah, returning about 2 million acres to the people of Utah. The two national monuments were among 27 that Trump ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review earlier this year.
As of 2012 – before Obama’s action last December – the Federal government had control of 66.5% of all land in the state of Utah – or 35,033,603 acres. That is a pretty large percentage of land in the state, and it is not even the most extreme example. That prize goes to Nevada, where the Federal government controls more than 80% of the land – 81.1% in 2012, or 56,961,778 acres. If you are interested in seeing statistics for all of the states, you can see them here –