Interior Secretary visits Bears Ears National Monument to decide its fate

BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke hiked past the lines of protesters out into the desert landscape.

Accompanied by Governor Gary Herbert, Congressman Rob Bishop, members of the Utah State Legislature and news reporters, Zinke took in his surroundings.

“It is drop dead gorgeous country, no question about it!” he declared. “Beautiful vistas.”

The Secretary of the Interior is here in Utah’s most controversial national monument to help decide its fate. He’s spending the next couple of days in San Juan and Kane counties as part of a review of national monuments ordered by President Trump.

Zinke is touring Bears Ears National Monument on Monday and Tuesday. He’ll then stop by Grand Staircase-Escalanate National Monument on Wednesday.

The president signed an executive order to review the use of the Antiquities Act, used to create national monuments. Bears Ears was basically the catalyst, having been created by President Obama at the end of his term.

At 1.35 million acres, the newly created national monument outraged Utah political leaders.

Read the full story here:

Written by BEN WINSLOW,

Copyright © 2017, KSTU. A Tribune broadcasting station

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  • Bender May 8, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Nitpick with headline… Zinke will make a recommendation to Trump. If Trump decides to shrink or delete the issue will, in all likelihood, ultimately be decided by the courts.

  • desertgirl May 9, 2017 at 7:36 am

    My hope is that the Federal footprint is reduced. Enough

    • Bender May 9, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      The lands in the monument are federal lands already and have been since we received them from Mexico in 1848.

      • Bender May 9, 2017 at 4:04 pm

        whoops, make that :
        The lands in the monument were federal lands before monument designation and had been since we received them from Mexico in 1848.

  • redrock4 May 9, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Public lands are the heart of a 600 billion dollar outdoor economy. Don’t forget that the OR show left Utah because of the archaic land ethos. This is about more than the agenda of conservatives and a bunch of country folk who define themselves by fighting with the big bad Federal Government. At some point hopefully the monuments will become national parks. Bears Ears National Park. Plus, after Trump is out at the end of this term we’ll have another Democrat in office and get an additional monument.

  • commonsense May 10, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Much of the million acres is not particularly special. It looks like all of Southern Utah. The unique Native American ruins should be protected but there is a reason all of Utah’s Congressional leaders and Governor and County leaders are against this greedy snatch of land.
    Activities such as bee keeping, firewood gathering, pine nut harvesting, Native American tribal gatherings, rock collecting would be restricted. Historically, communities and schools die near these monuments.
    The outdoor retailers like the Nation Parks because tourism takes over and squeezes out traditional towns. Have you been to Jackson Hole, WY or Springdale UT? Tourist traps.
    But, the most troubling thing is the process. Utah is strongly Republican and Clinton and Obama tools land that Utahns could use in there own way and spitefully designated them off limits without any consultation with those most effected.

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