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Trump Headed To Utah; Monuments And More On His Agenda

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Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, at the White House on Monday talking about a tax overhaul bill. Hatch issued a statement Tuesday welcoming Trump to Utah, where the president is expected next week to shrink to national monuments in Utah.

Utahns are getting ready for President Donald Trump to visit Salt Lake City. The stopover is expected on Monday.

It’s an event that’s been rumored for weeks, with opponents of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments saying that Trump would shrink the monuments during a visit to Utah.

On Tuesday, a statement from Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, seemed to confirm it’s happening soon: “I’m thrilled the President has accepted my invitation to come to Utah to discuss critical issues that matter to my constituents.”

Hatch has been working with the president on a tax overhaul which the Senate’s expected to vote on this week.

Meanwhile, monument supporters have been planning their own rally at the State Capitol this weekend. Environmental groups and Native Americans want the Utah monuments to stay intact.

“We’re hearing from lots of people that they want to demonstrate their support,” says Gavin Noyce of Utah Dine Bikeyah, a Native American group that advocated for Bears Ears. “And it’s really a chance for all Utahns to stand behind tribes, to stand behind public lands.”

A dozen environmental and Native American groups are behind the pro-monument rally. Thousands have RSVP’d for the event on Facebook.

Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.
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