Energy & Environment

Trump to shrink national monuments next week: report

President Trump plans to travel to Utah next week and announce he will shrink at least two national monuments, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday.

Trump will visit Salt Lake City to detail plans to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, according to the report, which added that he will not visit the monuments or stay overnight in the state.

The White House told The Hill it did not have an update on Trump's schedule for next week.

Trump earlier this year ordered the Interior Department to consider 27 large national monuments including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante for modification or elimination. Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed shrinking some monuments, including the 1.3-million-acre Bears Ears, but not eliminating any of them.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) said in October that Trump had committed to reducing Bears Ears, a monument designated by former President Obama in his final month in the Oval Office.

The Bears Ears designation protects Native American artifacts in southern Utah. It was one of Obama's largest monument designations, and its status has angered Western conservatives who contend the federal government has too much power over land use issues.

A Hatch staffer said earlier this month that Trump will shrink the 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by about a half.

Zinke's review covered monuments larger than 100,000 acres designated between 1996, when former President Clinton established Grand Staircase-Escalante, and last year.

Conservationists have vowed to sue over the president's ability to rescind a monument's designation.

-Updated at 4:47 p.m.