The Latest: Protest erupts as Interior secretary visits Utah


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on a visit to Utah by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review the designation of national monuments (all times local):

5:05 p.m.

More than 500 protesters urging the protection of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument are demonstrating outside a Salt Lake City building where U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is meeting with tribal leaders.

Protesters carried signs Sunday and shouted “Save our monuments, stand with Bears Ears!” as Zinke started a four-day Utah trip.

He’s assessing whether 3.2 million acres of the state’s red rock region should remain national monuments or have borders scaled down.

Zinke’s meeting with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, which pushed for the monument, was not open to the public or media.

His visit comes after an executive order signed last month by President Donald Trump called for a review of 27 national monuments established by several former presidents.

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4:15 p.m.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is meeting with a coalition of five tribes that pushed for President Barack Obama to designate Bears Ears National Monument.

Zinke’s hour-long meeting Sunday with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition came as the Interior secretary kicked off a four-day tour in Utah.

The meeting was not open to the public or media, but Zinke is expected to speak to reporters later in the day.

While in Utah, he’s expected to assess whether the designation of 3.2 million acres of national monuments in the state’s southern red rock region should be scaled back or rescinded.

His visit comes after an executive order signed last month by President Donald Trump called for a review of 27 national monuments established by several former presidents.

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9:20 a.m.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is set to start a four-day Utah trip to assess whether the designation of 3.2 million acres of national monuments in the state’s southern red rock region should be scaled back or rescinded.

Zinke arrives in Salt Lake City Sunday to launch the re-evaluation of the new Bears Ears National Monument and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

His visit comes after an executive order signed last month by President Donald Trump’s called for a review of 27 national monuments established by several former presidents.

The Bears Ears monument is a source of ire for Utah’s conservative leadership and is a top review priority.

Zinke must make a recommendation on that monument by June 10 ahead of a final report about all the monuments.