Southern Utah Locals Feelings on the Removal of Protected Status

#1
I've been thinking about the removal of Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante from National Monument status. From what I understand as a Canadian, the area is now open to mineral exploration where before it wasn't(?).

I was a little disappointed at first. We had gone down to Utah last November and fell in love with the area. I'm still awe-struck with how breathtaking the State is. My wife and I actually keep in contact with an Escalante Real Estate agent, just in case. Obviously with mining, especially open-pit, there would be some irreversible scars on that beautiful landscape.

That being said, when we were there a few people mentioned that it was the tail-end of the tourist season. I guess during the winter it can get pretty slow, and some shops need to shut down early for lack of business. I live in a pretty beautiful part of the world as well (South-East BC), and have worked in Tourism. I've experienced the busy and slow times of the year, the disrespectful hordes, and the low wages of that industry. It can be difficult to get by in Tourism.

I now work as a dozer operator in an open pit mine. The company I work for owns five mines in a pretty small area and produces some of the highest grade steelmaking coal in the world. They employ over 3000 people, not including contractors. The mines are definitely not pretty to look at. There's been environmental problems, including selenium runoff in the local waterways that need to be addressed. That being said, it is the best job I've ever had. Not only do we not have to struggle financially, we are able to save more for the future, go on more trips (to Utah), and spend way more money locally.

So personally, in the area I live in, I believe mining has been a positive thing. Getting on at the mine has been one of the best things that have happened to our family.

That being said, how do locals feel about the removal of Grand Staircase and Bear Ears from protected status. Is it a good thing? Bad? Split down the middle? Are there even some decent prospective claims that could turn into mines? We stayed at some cabins for a couple days in Escalante and there were signs by the laundromat for oil riggers not to use the machines with their work clothes so I guess there's some oil as well?