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Zinke to visit Grand Staircase monument

KANAB, Utah (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will visit a sweeping southern Utah monument that’s been a source of ire for local officials and Republican leaders for two decades.

Zinke’s trip to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on Wednesday caps his four-day visit to Utah to inspect two national monuments in a review ordered by President Donald Trump.

President Bill Clinton created the Grand Staircase monument in 1996. Residents and Utah officials say the 1.9 million acre (7,700 square kilometers) monument closed off too much land to development.

During Zinke’s trip Monday and Tuesday to the newly-named Bears Ears National Monument, environmental groups and Native American tribal members urged him not to rescind its protections.

Local business owners and residents who support the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument plan to rally in its defense.

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