SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Some Utah legislators are proposing creating a state park within the downsized Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
KSL-TV in Salt Lake City reported Sunday that lawmakers could petition the U.S. Department of Interior to set aside land for recreation.
Under the federal Recreation and Public Purposes Act, the state could potentially ask for up to 25,600 acres of land a year.
Republican Rep. Mike Noel, of Kanab, says the state could make requests over a three-year period and end up with a state park the size of Arches National Park.
U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart is also proposing the creation of a sixth national park called Escalante Canyons.
Critics say such legislation validates President Donald Trump’s decision last year to shrink two Utah national monuments, resulting in a pending lawsuit.