SALT LAKE CITY — President Trump on Monday drastically scaled back two national monuments established in Utah by his Democratic predecessors, the largest reduction of public lands protection in U.S. history. Trump’s move to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments by more than 1.1 million acres and more than 800,000 acres, respectively, immediately sparked an outpouring of praise from conservative lawmakers as well as activists’ protests outside the White House and in Utah. It also plunges the Trump administration into uncharted legal territory since no president has sought to modify monuments established under the 1906 Antiquities Act in more than half a century. His decision removes about 85 percent of the designation of Bears Ears and nearly 46 percent of that for Grand Staircase-Escalante, land that potentially could now be leased for energy exploration or opened for specific activities such as motorized vehicle use. Trump told a rally in Salt Lake City that he came to “reverse federal overreach” and took dramatic action “because some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They’re wrong.” “They don’t know your land, and truly, they don’t care for your land like you do,” he added. “But from now on, that won’t matter.” How Trump is rolling back Obama’s legacy View Graphic How Trump is rolling back Obama’s legacy Conservatives have long sought to curb a president’s unilateral power to safeguard federal lands and waters under the law, a practice that both Democrats and Republicans have pursued since it was enacted under Theodore Roosevelt. The issue has been a particular flash point in the West, where some local residents feel the federal government already imposes too many restrictions on development and others, including tribal officials, feel greater protections of ancient sites are needed. Even before Trump made the announcement as part of a day trip to the state, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Craig Uden was hailing the resized designations. While grazing has continued on both monuments, as well as on