MONTICELLO, Utah — The Latest on U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s visit to Utah to tour two of the 27 national monuments under review (all times local):
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has taken a horseback ride to get a close-up view of twin buttes that are the namesake of Utah’s new Bears Ears National Monument.
San Juan County Commissioner and local rancher Bruce Adams said he rode with Zinke for two hours Tuesday afternoon out to the buttes. They came back when it started snowing.
Adams was tasked with finding a horse big enough for Zinke to ride as he inspects two southern Utah national monuments in a review ordered by President Donald Trump.
Adams said 20 other state, local and federal officials and employees, all on horseback, went along.
No journalists were on the trip and federal officials did not release details about the outing. Zinke and his staff said earlier Tuesday that his ride was canceled due to bad weather.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says everyone agrees lands protected in Utah’s new Bears Ears National Monument need protections, but he isn’t ruling out the possibility that he’ll recommend President Donald Trump rescind the monument.
Zinke spoke to reporters Tuesday at a cattle ranch and conservation research center within the 1.3-million acre (5,300 square kilometers) monument.
He says he hasn’t made up his mind about whether he thinks the sacred tribal lands, with ancient ruins and rock art, should remain a monument, or if its borders should be shrunk or expanded.
Zinke’s tour is part of a review ordered by Trump to determine if 27 monuments were properly established.
He was planning to spend his third day touring southern Utah viewing the monument on horseback, but Zinke said heavy rain scuttled his plans.
Fifth-generation rancher Bruce Adams appreciates that U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is giving him a chance to explain why many locals think a new national monument created on southeastern Utah lands that Adams’ ancestors helped settle in 1879 is unnecessary.
Adams, a county commissioner, has told Zinke that locals take pains to preserve the landscapes within the 1.3-million acre (5,300 square kilometers) monument. He says the designation could impact their ability to make a living off grazing, hunting and agriculture.
Adams sat next to Zinke on a helicopter ride Monday, narrating the landscape of the Bears Ears National Monument. On Tuesday morning, Adams was scheduled to saddle up horses for Zinke’s ride.
Zinke’s tour is part of a review ordered by President Donald Trump to determine if 27 monuments were properly established.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he’s a “Teddy Roosevelt Republican” who values national monuments. But as he tours America’s newest and most hotly contested monument, he questions whether the monument designation by the federal government was the right way to preserve sacred tribal lands.
Zinke said Monday at a news conference that Washington sometimes does things “that seem to be heavy-handed or without coordination.”
Zinke’s four-day tour of Utah, including Bears Ears National Monument, a 1.3-million acre (5,300 square kilometers) area, was part of a review ordered by President Donald Trump to determine if 27 monuments were properly established.
On Tuesday, Zinke plans to visit a ranch and conservation area within Utah’s new national monument as he re-evaluates government protections on the vast expanse of tribal lands, canyons and plateaus.
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