Public comments on national monuments review due Monday | AspenTimes.com

Public comments on national monuments review due Monday

Staff report

Monday is the deadline for the public to submit comments on President Donald Trump's executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review 27 national monuments.

In particular, the review is likely to target two monuments in Utah: Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Both monuments are favorite destinations for Coloradans looking for an early escape from winter.

In Colorado, the only monument under review is Canyons of the Ancients, which contains the largest concentration of pre-Columbian artifacts and sites in the country. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, along with Congressman Scott Tipton and Gov. John Hickenlooper have asked Zinke to maintain protections for the southwestern Colorado monument.

Bears Ears was protected in the last days of the Obama administration following a yearslong public process and was supported by a majority of Americans and Utah residents. It contains thousands of archaeological sites and is sacred to several tribes who strongly advocated for its protection. Grand Staircase Escalante was protected by President Clinton and has provided significant economic benefits to surrounding communities.

Comments can be submitted until 3 p.m. Monday at http://www.regulations.gov.

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