Secretary Zinke in Utah Friday for conservation announcement

February 8, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is scheduled to be in Utah Friday to make an announcement during a conservation and hunting expo in Salt Lake City.

Interior officials didn’t provide details about the announcement in a news release Thursday, saying only he will make a “major conservation announcement.”

Protests are planned by environmental groups who are upset that Zinke recommended shrinking two sprawling national monuments in Utah.

President Donald Trump followed those recommendations and downsized the Bears Ears National Monument by about 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly half.

It earned him cheers from Republican leaders in Utah who lobbied him to undo protections by Democratic presidents that they considered overly broad.

Conservation groups called it the largest elimination of protected land in American history.

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