SALT LAKE CITY – Today, in response to a Request for Proposal, a contract was awarded to an outside law firm to assist with the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument Designations. Attorney General Reyes issued the following statement:
“Two months ago, President Biden ignored the views of Utah’s state and local leaders and unilaterally expanded the boundaries of both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. As Utahns know better than anyone, these magnificent lands deserve appropriate long-term protections. Unfortunately, President Biden has undermined that goal. His actions create more uncertainty and prolong the political tug-of-war over Utah’s public lands.
As we evaluate our options to address this federal overreach, the law firm of Consovoy McCarthy PLLC has been retained to assist with research and analysis about potential litigation. We have done so because recent opinions from members of the U.S. Supreme Court strongly indicate that President Biden’s use of the Antiquities Act is the wrong way to protect such vast areas of southern Utah. We continue to urge Congress to work with the State, with local governments, and with Tribal nations on a long-term legislative solution for the conservation of these lands that would end the existing uncertainty and avoid a potentially acrimonious legal challenge.”