Interior Ryan Zinke listened to tribal leaders on whether Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante’s national monument status should be rescinded.
His visited has triggered demonstrations around Utah.
Hell’s Backbone Grill and the Boulder Mountain lodge in Boulder, Garfield County, held a rally Saturday in support of the national-monuments. “We were joined by about 50 Boulder residents, as well as former Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker,” says Blake Spaulding, co-owner of Hell’s Backbone Grill, who says the Grand Staircase-Escalante has provided an immense economic boost to the region. “The Escalante/Boulder Chamber of Commerce has requested to meet with Secretary Zinke when he comes through Southern Utah, to express our request that the monuments be left intact. Apparently he has declined to meet with us and hear what the business owners and actual job providers have to say.”
Zinke is conducting a 45-day reviewn of monuments created since 1996, including Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument created by Bill Clinton.
Also on Saturday, hundreds gathered at the state Capitol to show Zinke their support for the national monuments.
Stegner Center for public lands fellow John Ruple explained on Salt Lake Speaks that it is unlikely President Trump could overturn the monuments’ status with an executive order because the Antiquities Act, doesn’t provide for dismantling monuments.
Boulder demonstration photo by Ace Kvale