Zinke to tour Bears Ears amid Trump monuments review

Zinke to tour Bears Ears amid Trump monuments review

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is scheduled to tour the controversial Bears Ears National Monument on Monday, local officials in Utah told the Deseret News

Zinke will tour part of the 1.35-million acre Bears Ears monument on horseback, a county commissioner told the paper after meeting with Zinke on Tuesday. 

Zinke will also visit the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument next week. 

The two monuments are the bookends for a Trump administration review of federal monument designations under the Antiquities Act. 

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President Trump last week signed an executive order to determine whether to rescind, resize or modify the large monument designations made between 1996, when President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonThe Evergreen State and the soul of the Democratic Party Biden, Eastland and rejecting the cult of civility Democrats not keen to reignite Jerusalem embassy fight MORE designated Grand Staircase-Escalante, and 2016, when President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden to debate for first time as front-runner John Kerry: Play based on Mueller report is 'an act of public service' Obama photographed alongside Clooney on boat in Italy MORE designated Bears Ears.  

Zinke is due to finish the monuments review within 45 days, making recommendations to Trump on both the monuments themselves and potential legislative changes to the Antiquities Act. 

The Interior Department confirmed Zinke's trip on Wednesday.

Conservationists praised Obama’s designation of Bears Ears in December, but some local groups and officials, including Republicans in Utah’s congressional delegation, slammed the decision as federal overreach.