Tribal and conservation groups on Thursday condemned the Trump administration\u0026#039;s \u0022unconscionable\u0022 final management plans for Utah lands previously protected as national monuments, which critics warn will open up the region to ranchers who want to graze livestock and companies looking to cash in on the area\u0026#039;s oil, gas, and coal.In a joint statement Thursday, critics charged that the U.S. Interior Department should not have finalized the plans while President Donald Trump\u0026#039;s December 2017 decision to severely shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments is still being challenged in federal court.\u0022It\u0026#039;s the height of arrogance for Trump to rush through final decisions on what\u0026#039;s left of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante while we\u0026#039;re fighting his illegal evisceration of these national monuments in court,\u0022 said Randi Spivak at the Center for Biological Diversity. \u0022Trump is eroding vital protections for these spectacular landscapes.\u0022These southern Utah sites were once off-limits to development. Now, Trump will auction the right to drill and graze there. https://t.co/9CNIeObCfn #StandWithBearsEars #HonorTribes— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) February 6, 2020Several advocacy group leaders, including Conservation Lands Foundation executive director Brian Sybert, denounced the administration\u0026#039;s plans as irresponsible and dangerous.\u0022This reckless management plan is an attempt to circumvent the courts, plain and simple,\u0022 said Sybert. \u0022It threatens one of America\u0026#039;s richest cultural landscapes, along with living indigenous cultures tied to it since time immemorial. The destructive plan not only ignores tribes, it ignores a majority of Americans—both nationwide and in the West—who do not support the reduction of Bears Ears in the first place.\u0022Theresa Pierno, president and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association, said that \u0022the administration\u0026#039;s reckless management plans set our worst fears in motion, leaving these treasured monuments and surrounding national parks needlessly vulnerable. The new plans put at risk the very things these sites were established to protect, including sacred spaces, adjacent national park landscapes, and troves of cultural and scientific resources.\u0022BREAKING: Trump administration announces final management plans for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, ignoring tribes, courts \u0026amp; the public and jeopardizing everything the monuments were created to protect. #StandWithBearsEars #SaveGrandStaircase https://t.co/iywI5PlusU pic.twitter.com/n2tKmDUIhK— National Parks Conservation Association (@NPCA) February 6, 2020As the Washington Post explained, \u0022the expanses of wind-swept badlands, narrow slot canyons, and towering rock formations are sacred to several Native American nations and prized by scientists and outdoor enthusiasts. Bears Ears contains tens of thousands of cultural artifacts and rare rock art. In the rock layers of Grand Staircase, researchers have unearthed 75 million-year-old dinosaur fossils.\u0022The Salt Lake City-based radio network KSL reported on the Interior Department\u0026#039;s explanation for releasing the final plans Thursday:Casey Hammond, Interior\u0026#039;s acting assistant secretary for land and minerals management, said if the agency had to wait to act until litigation was settled, \u0022we would never be able to do much of anything around here.\u0022The plans impacting lands in the Grand Staircase region eliminate grazing along the Escalante River but do allow for minerals extraction in former monument lands. Grazing was also eliminated in some regions of the former Bears Ears monument, now named Shash Jaa, including Butler Wash and Comb Wash.Hammond, in a morning teleconference, said despite assertions to the contrary, there is little interest by industry in oil and gas development in the regions, and the final management plans do nothing to change the status of the federal lands, which won\u0026#039;t be \u0022sold off.\u0022\u0022Any suggestion these lands and resources will be adversely impacted by being excluded from monument status is certainly not true,\u0022 he said. \u0022There\u0026#039;s very little interest in mineral development on these lands.\u0022However, those fighting against Trump\u0026#039;s decree to carve up the monuments aren\u0026#039;t buying the administration\u0026#039;s claim that the management plans won\u0026#039;t imperil the previously protected land in Southern Utah, as well as Indigenous peoples and wildlife who have long called it home.\u0022This sellout to big oil firms, which comes after the Trump administration slashed the size of the two monuments in late 2017, is more evidence of extremely tight ties between U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and industry,\u0022 said Alan Zibel, research director at Public Citizen\u0026#039;s Corporate Presidency Project. Zibel released a report last month detailing how Bernhardt\u0026#039;s former lobbying clients have dropped nearly $30 million to convince the Trump administration to serve the fossil fuel industry.\u0022Millions in spending on lobbying and close personal ties between lobbyists and the Trump Interior Department have proven devastating for America\u0026#039;s public lands and an outright bonanza for oil and gas interests,\u0022 he said. \u0022Bernhardt has consistently favored industry over conservation interests and public health. Rather than listen to the millions of Americans who want to preserve these precious national monuments, the Interior Department consistently chooses to sell off our public lands to the highest bidder. Opening these special areas to exploitation threatens cultural and natural resources that never can be replaced.\u0022Carly Ferro, interim director of Utah Sierra Club, said the plan for Bears Ears \u0022is nothing more than a wholesale handout to extractive industry, one that is illegitimate since President Trump illegally shrunk Utah\u0026#039;s monuments to begin with.\u0022\u0022These plans are atrocious, and entirely predictable,\u0022 declared Sharon Buccino, senior director of lands at the Natural Resources Defense Council. \u0022They are the latest in a series of insults to these magnificent lands by the Trump administration that began when Trump illegally dismantled Bears Ears and Grand Staircase at the behest of corporate interests two years ago.\u0022BREAKING: Moments ago, the Interior finalized plans to obliterate 2 national monuments \u0026amp; sell them off to special interests, ignoring the millions of Americans who treasure our #publiclands. Learn more: https://t.co/4QZohJ1ndN #StandWithBearsEars #SaveGrandStaircase pic.twitter.com/NSHZXjASqC— Defenders of Wildlife (@Defenders) February 6, 2020As Mary O\u0026#039;Brien, Utah forests programs director at Grand Canyon Trust, put it: \u0022There is nothing to be gained from this plan except the destruction of fossils, the expansion of scorched-earth cattle grazing and non-native forage seeding, the loss of dark skies, more roads and unenforced off-road motorization, more extraction from dwindling springs, and more unrecorded wildlife losses—all for what? To show what one president can do to any of our country\u0026#039;s national monuments, at any time, for any self-serving political reason?\u0022\u0026nbsp;Shaun Chapoose, a representative for Ute Indian Tribe, accused the Trump administration of \u0022failing in its treaty and trust responsibilities to Indian tribes,\u0022 a sentiment that was echoed by Davis Filfred, board chairman of Utah Diné Bikéyah.\u0022The Trump administration\u0026#039;s final management plan for Bears Ears National Monument,\u0022 said Filfred, \u0022is an example of how the federal government continues to ignore Indigenous voices, and the sovereignty of the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and Pueblo of Zuni.\u0022 Those native groups are all involved in the legal challenge to Trump\u0026#039;s decision to shrink the monuments.