- The Washington Times - Friday, October 27, 2017

President Trump told Sen. Orrin Hatch on Friday that he plans to approve tightening the borders of Bears Ears National Monument, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

The president called Mr. Hatch to tell him of the decision according to Utah Republican’s office and he was “incredibly grateful.”

The new boundaries are not entirely clear, but Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke reportedly recommended cutting off the southeastern area of the monument. He has previously proposed reducing the park from 1.35 million acres to 160,000 acres, according to the New York Times. This would be the largest reduction of a monument by any president if it’s enacted.

Mr. Zinke was order to review all the monuments since 1996 and make changes accordingly in the hopes newly unprotected land could be mined or drilled for resources.

“President Trump and Ryan Zinke’s attack on the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is an attack on southern Utah’s entrepreneurs and the thousands of jobs that depend on the Monument,” Suzanne Catlett, president of the Escalante and Boulder Utah Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.

“The utter disregard for our thriving community and the views of local business owners like me, shows that President Trump could care less about jobs in rural America.”

Grand Staircase-Escalante is also included in the proposed changes to the region’s national monuments.

Bears Ears was established in late December 2016 by then-President Barack Obama, just weeks before leaving office.


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