The Christian Science Monitor

With monument reductions, Trump enflames century-old debate

President Trump unleashed the latest salvo Monday in a long-running battle over how America’s public lands should be treated.

In a stark contrast to recent presidents who have sought to leave a lasting legacy by creating national monuments, Mr. Trump plans to drastically reduce two of the monuments created by his predecessors. His action – which is expected to be challenged in court – will be a test of whether, in fact, he has the power to do so.

But, while Trump’s actions tread new legal ground, the underlying tensions at play in this current battle over America’s public lands stretch back more than a century. At the heart of these tensions lies both a shared sense of pride in America’s so-called natural cathedrals and a fundamental disagreement over how land use should be regulated.

“This is a reflection of the ongoing tug-of-war over

A century-old disputeConflicted pride?

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