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How the internet reacted to the Bears Ears decision

The Bears Ears as seen from Comb Ridge in southern Utah on Saturday, July 16, 2016. Today, President Barack Obama declared the Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah.
The Bears Ears as seen from Comb Ridge in southern Utah on Saturday, July 16, 2016. Today, President Barack Obama declared the Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The debate is over — for now.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced two new national monuments in Nevada and Utah, despite ongoing debates about the management of these areas.

In Utah, Bears Ears National Monument will cover about 1.35 million acres of land from development. Nevada’s Golden Butte National Monument will do the same for about 300,000 acres of land.

Obama said in a statement these monuments "protect some of our country's most important cultural treasures, including abundant rock art, archaeological sites and lands considered sacred by Native American tribes."

Data from the Sutherland Institute found that 45 percent of Utahns didn’t want to see Obama declare Bears Ears as a national monument. Less than 20 percent support the idea, while 15 percent leaned toward “probably not” as their viewpoint.

A UtahPolicy.com survey from early November found that 60 percent of Utahns were opposed to the measure, while 33 percent supported it.

Utahns now remain split about whether they want President-elect Donald Trump to undo the measure once he takes office. New research from UtahPolicy.com found that 26 percent of Utahns said Trump should “definitely undo” Obama’s declaration, while 29 percent said he shouldn’t undo it.

Meanwhile, about 14 percent leaned toward “probably undo” and 18 percent said “probably not undo.”

About 14 percent sad they didn’t know what Trump should do with the monument.

And political leaders in Utah have already spoken out against the measures.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said that he will do whatever he can to take down the monuments.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, also expressed discomfort with Obama’s decision

"With this astonishing and egregious abuse of executive power, President Obama has shown that far-left special interest groups matter more to him than the people who have lived on and cared for Utah's lands for generations," he said. "For Utahns in general, and for those in San Juan County in particular, this is an affront of epic proportions and an attack on an entire way of life."

And Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, did not mince words when she released her statement about Obama’s designations.

"By unilaterally designating the Bears Ears area of San Juan County a national monument, President Obama has undermined the economy and lifestyle of the people who live there, the religious interests of the Native Americans who reside in San Juan County, and ignored local authority,” she said in her statement. “Again behaving more like a dictator instead of a representative of people, he ignored Utah, which is united in opposition to this action. I join our delegation, state officials and the people of Utah in the pledge to use every tool in our arsenal to undo what he has done, and restore the blessings of freedom he wants so badly to remove from us in his final days. "

Meanwhile, supporters sang a different tune after Obama’s decision. Russell Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation, said it’s a good move for the state.

Meanwhile, some speculate that this decision will add to Obama’s own environmental policy legacy, as many already see him as a president who has worked to protect the country’s natural environments.

Gov. Gary Herbert expressed his unfavorable view on Twitter.

Twitter also shared positive remarks about Obama and the Bears Ears decision.