Published October 27, 2017
WASHINGTON – The White House confirmed Friday that President Donald Trump will visit the state of Utah in early December to make an announcment on national monuments. Earlier Friday, Trump met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke who turned in his recommendations on national monument designations in the summer. Zinke’s recommendations have not been public.
Later on Friday, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Trump called him to say he was going to reduce the size of the boundaries of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments
“I’m approving the Bears Ears recommendation for you, Orrin,” Triump told Hatch in a phone call, according to Hatch’s office.
President Barack Obama designated Butte Ears a national monument before he left office at the request of five American Indian tribes that consider Bears Ears a sacred where ceremonies are conducted.
Trump’s upcoming action is another example of his dismantling of things his predecessor put into place while in office.
As of Friday, it is still unclear how much Trump will reduce the size of the designation.
“I will not get ahead of the president’s announcement on the specifics of that, but I can tell you he will be going to Utah in the first part of early December, and we will be releasing more details at that point,” White House press secretary Sarah Hucklebee said at Friday’s press briefing.
Trump ordered Zinke to review all monuments designated under the Antiquities Act since January 1996. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah was designated a national monument by President Bill Clinton in 1996.