Connect with us

Local News

US Interior secretary planning to visit southern Utah Thursday



U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will visit Utah Thursday to review the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, her office announced Monday.

The previously announced visit will include a tour of the Bears Ears National Monument sometime Thursday and a meeting with local elected leaders, according to an itinerary of her upcoming visit. Other events during her visit have not been made public yet.

“During her time in Kane and San Juan Counties, she will see the national monuments and meet with Tribes, elected federal, state and local leaders, and other stakeholders,” stated a release from her office.

Haaland, who is the first Native American to oversee a Cabinet department, will come to Utah from New Mexico where she planned to “highlight the benefits of the American Rescue Plan to families and communities,” according to a previous news release.

The review of the national monuments in Utah are part of an executive order signed by President Joe Biden. Utah’s Republican leaders are worried about Biden restoring the monuments to their original sizes before President Donald Trump reduced them.

This is the third recent visit by a U.S. interior secretary. Former Secretary Ryan Zinke visited southern Utah in 2017 before Trump took action on the monuments. Former Secretary Sally Jewel also visited in 2016 before President Barack Obama designated Bears Ears as a national monument.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was created by President Bill Clinton in 1996.