Share Tech & Science Utah National Monuments Donald Trump Hundreds of thousands of acres of land will be more vulnerable to looting, vandalism, mining, coal and oil extraction after President Donald Trump slashed protections for two Utah monuments on Monday. Trump announced Monday at the Utah State Capitol that Bears Ears National Monument will be reduced to 228,784 acres from 1.35 millions acres into two separate areas called Shash Jáa Navajo and Indian Creek. A second monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante, will be reduced to half its current size and split into three separate chunks. Bears Ears was designated as a National Monument under the Obama administration last December, just before his second term as president ended. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was designated as such in 1996 by former President Bill Clinton. "The families and communities of Utah know and love this land the best, and you know the best how to take care of your land," Trump said at the Utah State Capitol. "You know how to protect it." Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now He added that the "whims of regulators" located "thousands of miles away" don't care for Utah's land the way residents do. Public lands will be for public use, he said.  Ancient granaries, part of the House on Fire ruins, in the South Fork of Mule Canyon in the Bears Ears National Monument on May 12. Getty In regards to Bears Ears in particular, Native American tribes argue otherwise. Tribes have been attempting to protect this land for 80 years—with a ramp-up of efforts beginning five years ago, according to Natalie Landreth, senior staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund. The land has historical and modern importance for tribes, she said. More than 100,000 archaeological sites rest there.  “The fact that this would be the first major sort of public lands attack has a lot of really ugly overtones because you would wonder, why would you go after the Indian monument first?” Landreth told Newsweek. “Out of all the hundreds of monuments in the United States, why this one?” The protections secured under the Obama administration were in part a reaction to the decades of