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Poll: Utah voters divided on future of two national monuments

Poll: Utah voters divided on future of two national monuments
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Most Utahns surveyed in a new poll support shrinking the Bears Ears National Monument but broadly oppose doing the same to Grand Staircase-Escalante.

The poll, released Tuesday by the Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah, found 51 percent of respondents consider Bears Ears, established under former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president' Obama: Fox News viewers 'perceive a different reality' than other Americans Police investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide MORE, to be too large.

But 53 percent of voters also said the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument should be preserved and not split into smaller monuments, something supported by 27 percent of those polled.

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Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante — both controversial monuments in the Beehive State — are two of nearly 30 large national monuments that the Interior Department considered for changes earlier this year.

Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden launches blitz for jobs plan with 'thank you, Georgia' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues | Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again | Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again MORE has said he will recommend President Trump shrink Bears Ears, a 1.3-million acre expanse established by the Obama administration late last year containing cultural sites from Native American tribes.

Reports indicate Zinke will also recommend Trump shrink Grand Staircase-Escalante, a 1.8-million acre monument established by President Clinton in 1996.

The White House has not released details about Zinke’s monuments review, which was sparked by concerns over the expansive use of presidential monument-making authority under the Antiquities Act.

Conservation groups have vowed to sue over any decision to shrink previously declared monuments, saying the Oval Office has the power to make the designations, but not reverse them.