Utah files for appeal in Bears Ears, Grand Staircase lawsuit
Aug 15, 2023, 11:30 AM | Updated: 11:53 am
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Attorney General’s Office has submitted an appeal on a judge’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s re-establishment of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.
On Monday, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes’s office announced the filing to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
“All along, the State of Utah has sought appropriate protections of the precious, unique area in the heart of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante regions,” Reyes said in a statement.
In the statement, Reyes calls Biden’s re-establishment of the lands an “overkill by millions of acres” and “his designations exceed his authority.”
“We eagerly anticipate explaining to the Tenth Circuit why the law and the facts are on our side,” Reyes said.
In October 2021, Biden announced the restoration of federal protections that then-President Donald Trump downsized in 2017. In August 2022, Utah filed the lawsuit arguing the “size of the two national monuments … violates the Antiquities Act of 1906.”
On Aug. 11, a U.S. District Judge for the District of Utah dismissed the lawsuit, causing Reyes and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox to hint at an upcoming appeal.
“This case will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court and today’s ruling helps us get there even sooner,” Cox said in a previous statement.