Hatch's Office Predicts Big Reductions For Utah Monuments

Nov 14, 2017

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch's office says President Donald Trump is expected to significantly downsize two sprawling Utah national monuments.

Ron Dean, Hatch's Central and Eastern Utah Director, testified to Utah lawmakers during a public lands hearing Tuesday that he hasn't seen Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's recommendations for the monuments but he expects Bears Ears National Monument will be reduced by nearly 80 to 90 percent of its current size and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will be cut down by about 40 to 60 percent.

The monuments combined protect more than 3 million acres (12,000 square kilometers) of southern Utah.

Hatch and other Utah officials say the monuments are too large and have asked Trump to rescind or shrink them.

Zinke's spokeswoman Heather Swift did not immediately respond to questions seeking details about Zinke's recommendations.