Hikers visit the House on Fire Indian ruins in Mule Canyon, inside Bears Ears National Monument, June 2019. Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

The Interior Department's plans to allow mining, drilling and grazing on lands formerly protected as Utah's national monuments went into effect on Thursday, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: In 2017, President Trump reduced the size of Utah's Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and the Grand Staircase-Escalante by almost half, the acting assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management with the Interior Department said, per AP.

What's next: The lands, which contain thousands of cultural artifacts, "harbor significant amounts of oil, gas and coal that the administration hopes to develop, as well as grazing land valued by local ranchers," the Post reports.

What they're saying: The monuments remain under federal management, the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management said in a press release on Thursday, and the agency has "developed new land use plans for the monuments."

  • "I'm happy to see the Administration develop management plans that protect areas with sensitive artifacts and yet still provide a way to use these lands for recreation, grazing, and management practices that will keep the lands healthy," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said in the release.

Go deeper: Trump administration mulls privatizing national park campgrounds

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
50 mins ago - Science

The murder hornets are here

A braver man than me holds a speciment of the Asian giant hornet. Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Entomologists in Washington state on Thursday discovered the first Asian giant hornet nest in the U.S.

Why it matters: You may know this insect species by its nom de guerre: "the murder hornet." While the threat they pose to humans has been overstated, the invading hornets could decimate local honeybee populations if they establish themselves.

Biden is highest-spending political candidate on TV ads

Joe Biden. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

After spending an additional $45.2 million on political ads this week, former Vice President Joe Biden has become the highest-spending political candidate on TV ads ever, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

By the numbers: In total, the Biden campaign has spent $582.7 million on TV ads between 2019 and 2020, officially surpassing Michael Bloomberg's record spend of roughly $582 million. Biden's spend includes his primary and general election advertising.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!