- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Gov. Gary Herbert and U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch say the Bears Ears Buttes in southeastern Utah and surrounding sacred sites need protections but a national monument would be the wrong approach.

Herbert and Hatch said in a visit to the area on Thursday that they don’t believe President Barack Obama is poised to sweep the area in new protections as a 1.9 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument.

The Republicans say they believe Obama is willing to first see what kind of compromise is reached under a proposal from U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah.

Bishop’s proposal would set aside a smaller conservation area that gives local officials input on its management.

Leaders of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition say the area is threatened by looting and damage from vehicles and needs permanent protections as a monument.

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