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Will Interior Secretary listen to Utah voices on national monuments?

Secretary Zinke meets with Tribal Leaders on first day in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke arrived in Salt Lake City on Sunday for the beginning of a four-day listening tour regarding the review of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
 
Secretary Zinke, who spoke to reporters at the Bureau of Land Management Sunday, was greeted with hundreds of protesters in front of the building.
 
"There is a lot of anger out there, there is a lot of mistrust out there," said Zinke.
 
The secretary held a closed door meeting with the Inter-Tribal Coalition which included members of leadership from the Hopi Tribe, Utah Navajo Chapter of Olijato, Navajo Nation Council, Ute Indian Tribe, and Zuni Tribe.
 
"I think it was very productive. I wanted to hear from their perspective -- what was important, what wasn't important, and certainly maintain their ability to practice their cultural rituals to make sure they protect their archeological sites."
 
Last month, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that reviews presidential power to designate lands as national monuments. CNN reports, the move, "... sets into motion a process that could see Trump roll back the protection of lands designated by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama under the Antiquities Act. Trump will be the first president to do so if he chooses to shrink a national monument."
 
The former Montana Senator will assess whether the designation of 3.2 million acres of national monuments in Utah's Red Rock Region should be scaled back or rescinded.
 
On Monday, Zinke will travel to Bears Ears to do a morning aerial tour of the south part of the monument and an afternoon hiking tour of the House of Fire site at the monument.
 
"I like going to the front lines and seeing it {Utah's national monuments} and actually talking to people," replied Zinke, when asked what he will be doing on his tour. "I'm riding a horse on Tuesday. I think the best way to see things is slow and easy with a horse."
 
On the tour, Secretary Zinke told reporters that he will be joined by people with different perspectives, but believes that "more or less" they're all on the same page.
 
"Your own legislature moved forward on it. The delegation moved forward on it. The tribes are generally for it -- it's split. So can we do it better? That's part of the journey of listening," explained Zinke.
 
One of the protestors out today thinks otherwise.
 
"He's talking to the native american people that {Utah Senator} Orrin Hatch is directing him to. He needs to talk to the Bears Ears Coalition," said Joanne Slotnick, the Co-Founder of Salt Lake Indivisible
 
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch was alongside Secretary Zinke as he addressed reporters. Good4Utah's Brittany Johnson asked Hatch if the local representatives have Utah's best interest at heart.
 
"We love utah and we're going to make sure it functions the way it should function and that it's protected and that we're not just shoved around from radical people from elsewhere on either side of the issue," explained Hatch.
 
Zinke will be joined by Governor Gary Herbert and members of Utah's Congressional Delegation on the tour.
 
Public comments regarding Bears Ears and other national monuments can be made here.
 

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