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Montana Green Groups React To Bears Ears Decision

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
Bureau of Land Management

Local environmental organizations are worried about what President Donald Trump’s decision on national monuments in Utah means for Montana's public lands.

John Todd is the conservation director for the Montana Wilderness Association. He said he was shocked by the news.

"We’ve been saying for a long time that a shot fired at one monument is a shot fired at them all," he said.

Ever since Trump requested a review of national monuments by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke this summer, public lands advocates have been on edge. 

Half a dozen press releases on Monday from organizations like the Montana Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers decried the decision as devastating, possibly illegal, and setting a dangerous precedent for future conservation. 

Todd said that months of public outcry about national monuments make this decision especially disappointing.

"Most Montanans and Americans expect to have their voices heard, so I say shocked, not that I was necessarily surprised by the announcement, but it’s always surprising when that many Americans’ perspectives are completely disregarded," he said.

Interior Secretary Zinke praised the announcement on Twitter, writing that Trump's decision gave rural Americans a voice.

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