- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of people have weighed in on whether Utah’s new Bears Ears National Monument should be preserved, downsized or rescinded.

The U.S. Interior Department closed Monday a two-month public comment period on the monument and 26 others as part of a review ordered by President Donald Trump.

About 430,000 comments on the Interior Department’s website mention Bears Ears, including submissions compiled by conservation groups that include thousands of individual comments in one submission.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended Trump shrink Bears Ears but has not specified how much should be cut.

President Barack Obama named it in December over objections from Utah leaders.

Conservationists and Native American tribes urged protections for the area’s red rock plateaus, canyons and ancient ruins.

Zinke is set to issue a final report on the monuments in August.

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