Nevada conservationists vow to protect national monuments

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Steve Marcus

Rock formations are shown in the Little Finland area of Gold Butte National Monument Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017.

Tue, Dec 5, 2017 (10:37 a.m.)

RENO — Defenders of two national monuments in Nevada are vowing to wage a legal battle to protect them if President Donald Trump tries to shrink them like he did in Utah.

Trump signed a pair of proclamations Monday dramatically reducing the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments in Utah.

Democratic Congresswoman Jacky Rosen says it sets a dangerous precedent that will put millions of acres of protected lands at risk of mining and other development that will forever alter the outdoor treasures.

She's among those who fear Nevada's Gold Butte and Basin and Range monuments could be next.

Friends of Gold Butte leader Jaina Moon says Nevadans fought for decades to protect the natural and cultural resources of the monument President Obama designated. She says they stand ready to challenge the matter in court if necessary.

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