Life/Culture

Secretary Of The Interior Recommends Shrinking Bears Ears Monument

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recommends shrinking the 1.3 million-acre national monument.

Secretary Of The Interior Recommends Shrinking Bears Ears Monument
U.S. Department of the Interior
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The Trump administration is thinking about shrinking the Bears Ears National Monument — but we don't know by how much. 

On Monday, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recommended to the president that the Utah monument be shrunk. Zinke's decision came after a four-day tour of the area last month. 

The interior secretary didn't specify how much of the 1.3 million-acre monument should be cut, but he did suggest a need to protect the antiquities within it. 

After meeting with tribal stakeholders, Zinke also recommended that parts of the new monument be co-managed by Native American tribes. 

Sen. Orrin Hatch applauded Zinke's recommendations. 

"This recommendation reflects a balance of our shared priorities of protecting this land," Hatch said in a video

Bears Ears has been debated since Donald Trump came to power. Back in February, Rep. Rob Bishop asked the president to either shrink or get rid of the monument completely because it was designated a national monument without the consultation of Congress. 

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In April, President Trump signed an executive order to review all the land designated as national monuments or expanded under the Antiquities Act since 1996. That's what took Zinke on his travels to Utah.

The Department of the Interior is now asking for public comments until July 10, and after that, Zinke will deliver his final recommendation to Trump.