Outside Magazine: As of 9 a.m. on Friday, the protections for what was once Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments ceased to exist, and all the surrounding public lands opened to resource extraction.
Sixty days ago, President Trump signed an order in Salt Lake City to reduce the size of the two monuments—Bears Ears by 85 percent and Grand Staircase by half. Today, they officially open to mining claims. There's been a lot of fuss in the media about how these claims work, because they're governed by the General Mining Law of 1872. That means anyone with motivation and four stakes can, technically, rush out and claim their own plot, as long as you have the $212 filing fee. But there probably won't be an 1800s-style land rush.
What’s more likely is the energy industries that lobbied the Trump administration and Utah Republicans to slice up the monuments in the first place will take out big leases. But conservationists who worry the area will fill up with oil platforms and diesel work trucks can rest easy, because not much will change, at least not in the short term.