Trump to shrink Utah national monument: Senator

ANI | Updated: Oct 28, 2017 03:11 IST

New York [USA], Oct. 28 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump on Friday told that he will reduce the size of state's 1.3 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument, informed Utah Senator Orrin Hatch.

"I was incredibly grateful when the president called this morning to let us know that he is approving Secretary Zinke's recommendation on Bears Ears," Hatch said in a statement, as quoted by The Hill.

Hatch's office said Trump confirmed the news on Friday during a phone call.

The White House also announced that President Trump will visit Utah in December to officially announce the news.

"Protecting sacred antiquities is a matter of critical importance, and Secretary Zinke and the Trump administration found a better way to do it by rolling up their sleeves, digging in, and talking with Native American tribes," Hatch said.

Adding, "We'll continue working closely with locals moving forward to ensure that Utahns have a voice in this process."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a daily briefing that Trump met Zinke on Friday to talk about the status of his monuments review.

She said the White House would "release more details" during Trump's December visit, "if not before."

The monument, declared by former President Obama late last year, was one of the most controversial Antiquities Act declarations under review by the Interior Department this summer.

Bears Ears protects Native American artifacts in southern Utah. It was one of the last, and largest, monument designations made by Obama during his tenure, and one that incensed conservatives in the West who have long argued the government has too much power over land spanning several states. (ANI)

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