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Pres. Trump to shrink Bears Ears, Grand Staircase; will visit Utah in December

Posted at 1:18 PM, Oct 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-28 01:21:30-04

SALT LAKE CITY - U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch said President Donald Trump told him he will approve Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation to cut the size of Bears Ears National Monument Friday.

Pres. Trump will visit Utah in early December, Sarah Sanders told reporters Friday when asked whether the president will shrink the size of controversial Bears Ears National Monument, CNN reported.

Sanders declined to get into whether the president will shrink the monument.

“He will be going to Utah in the first part of early December and we will release more details at that point,” Sanders said.

Governor Gary Herbert said Trump called him Friday morning to discuss Zinke's recommendation.

"I appreciate the President and the Secretary's efforts to listen to local concerns and seek a balance when it comes to the complex issues of managing and protecting our public lands," Herbert said in a statement released Friday afternoon. (Read the full statement below.)

Sen. Orrin Hatch's office, Trump called him to say he planned to accept Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation to cut the size of both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.

"I was incredibly grateful the President called this morning to let us know that he is approving Secretary Zinke’s recommendation on Bears Ears," Sen. Hatch said. "We believe in the importance of protecting these sacred antiquities, but Secretary Zinke and the Trump administration rolled up their sleeves to dig in, talk to locals, talk to local tribes, and find a better way to do it. We’ll continue to work closely with them moving forward to ensure Utahns have a voice.”

Matt Whitlock with Sen. Hatch's office told Fox 13 News Pres. Trump said, "I’m approving the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase recommendation for you, Orrin.”

Sen. Mike Lee said he also spoke with Pres. Trump on Utah's national monuments Friday.

He tweeted, "I spoke with @realDonaldTrump this morning. He confirmed he plans to follow @SecretaryZinke's recommendation to shrink #BearsEars & GSENM!"

"I appreciate @realDonaldTrump's and @SecretaryZinke's leadership & willingness to listen to Utahns on abusive natl. monument designations."

Gov. Herbert's Statement: