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Leaked Zinke Report Says Utah Monuments Should Be Smaller; No Word On How Much

Department of Interior
Aerial view of the Bears Ears National Monument.

New information emerged over the weekend on the advice Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is giving president Donald Trump on two national monuments in Utah.

A draft memo first reported in the Washington Post offers no new details on exactly how much smaller Zinke thinks the Bears Ears National Monument should be, or the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. That's what most Utahns want to know.

The memo contends the president has the authority to shrink the monuments. Monument advocates say no, and they're ready for court if the Trump administration acts on Zinke’s recommendation.

One recommendation seems likely to get support from both sides: that protecting monument resources requires adequate funding and staffing.

Read Secretary Zinke's draft memorandum on shrinking six national monuments.

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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