President Trump to approves shrinking of Bears Ears

Sanders declined to get into whether the president will shrink the monument. Conservative groups back data privacy bill Right-leaning groups back worldwide data privacy bill Overnight Health Care: Bipartisan health plan faces new challenge from conservatives MORE (R) on Friday that he will reduce the size of the state's 1.3 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument.

During a Q&A Friday morning Senator Orrin Hatch confirmed President Trump called him to say he is approving the recommendations from Secretary Zinke of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.

Former President Barack Obama established the Bears Ears National Monument in December of previous year shortly before leaving office.

An interactive NRDC story map of the national monuments Secretary Zinke reviewed can be found here. Zinke submitted his recommendations in August, the result of a lengthy review of potential Antiquities Act abuses ordered by Trump.

"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. Sources told that the 1.35 million acre monument could be reduced to as little as 160,000 acres.

President Obama created Bears Ears in the final days of his presidency, while President Clinton created Grand Staircase Escalante in 1996. 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.

The Antiquities Act stipulates that monuments "in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected". Most tribal officials supported creation of the Bears Ears monument, though tribal members living on the monument's borders had reservations. In a statement Jamie Williams, president of the society, said that Trump "continues to move down a path that puts the future of America's treasured lands at risk".

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