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"Hundreds of thousands of acres of land that were part of two US national monuments shrunk by Donald Trump are being opened Friday to mining claims for uranium and other minerals.It is a symbolic step in a broader conflict over the fate of America’s public lands, on which Trump hopes to encourage greater access for extractive industries. HE judged that large portions of the monuments were not unique or of particular scientific or historic interest, a point fiercely contested by environmentalists, Native American groups and scientists, who have brought five lawsuits. Today is when “the Trump administration is no longer stopping itself from opening up those lands to development”, said Dan Hartinger, national monuments campaign director at the Wilderness Society."