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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 ClintonOne-termers: What Trump can learn from Carter and Bush's re-election losses Biden's climate plans can cut emissions and also be good politics Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College MORE designated Grand Staircase-Escalante, and 2016, when President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMullen: 'National security issues do not wait' for presidential transitions Is Trump headed to another campaign or to a courtroom? With the Chang'e 5 launch, China takes a giant leap forward in the race to the moon 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.