US Interior Secretary Zinke to get tour of Bear Ears.
9 months ago Nadine Entwistle 0
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is getting a view of one of America’s newest national monuments. Bear Ears has 1.3 million acres of beautiful red plateaus, canyons, and cliffs as well as old trees, brushes, and other unique plant and wildlife in southern Utah.
Zinke and Utah’s governor will spend the morning touring the monument from the sky via a helicopter to reassess the unique National Monument. The afternoon will be spend with a press conference before a hike to a ruin within the monument called “House on Fire”.
The re-evaluation of Bear Ears, which protects sacred tribal lands and was established in 1996, is part of an executive order which brought about a review of 27 national monuments, and Bear Ears is a priority.
Zinke has 2 and a half months to explore all 27 monuments to reach his June 10th deadline.
Republican leaders in Utah, campaigned hard to get a second look at the monument designated by President Obama, claiming the park is a show of unnecessary federal control and is hurting local economies by closing an area to new energy development.
There are protesters, of course. With about 500 protesters carrying signs, Zinke can also not ignore the vast support for this beautiful land.
Zinke is claiming he will be fair though, saying he will listen to all sides before giving his recommendation, which could be anything from abolishing the monument to shrinking or even expanding it.
Tomorrow, he plans to view the area via a lovely horseback tour.
On Wednesday, he will approach the edge of Bear Ears which nearly touches the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
The review is due to Trump and his supports’ belief that monuments have been used to just set aside large swaths of land instead of unique areas of historical or archaeological importance, like the original law by President Theodore Roosevelt meant.
Environmental groups have already promised to challenge any monument abolition via lawsuits, which would set a new precedent.
What will the outcome be? I can’t wait to find out.