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 ObamaFive takeaways from new fundraising reports for 2020 Democrats Obama sends birthday wishes to John Lewis: 'Thanks for making good trouble' The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren up, Bloomberg down after brutal debate 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 ZinkeInternational hunting council disbands amid litigation Europe deepens energy dependence on Russia Overnight Energy: House Science Committee hits EPA with subpoenas | California sues EPA over Trump revoking emissions waiver | Interior disbands board that floated privatization at national parks 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.