“We believe in the importance of protecting these sacred antiquities, but Secretary Zinke and the Trump administration rolled up their sleeves to dig in, talk to locals, talk to local tribes and find a better way to do it. We’ll continue to work closely with them moving forward to ensure Utahns have a voice,” he said.

Amy Joi O’Donoghue

Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The White House announced Friday that President Donald Trump will visit Utah in December for his official announcement on boundary reductions to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

“I am not going to get ahead of the president’s announcement on the specifics, but I can tell you he will be going to Utah in the first part of early December,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a televised news briefing.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, first broke the news of Trump’s intent to reduce monument boundaries in his home state after taking a call from the president about the matter.

Hatch was attending a women’s tech leadership awards event in Salt Lake City when he took the call from Trump late Friday morning.

Later, his office sent out a prepared statement.

“I was incredibly grateful the president called this morning to let us know that he is approving Secretary (Ryan) Zinke’s recommendation on Bears Ears,” Hatch said.

“We believe in the importance of protecting these sacred antiquities, but Secretary Zinke and the Trump administration rolled up their sleeves to dig in, talk to locals, talk to local tribes and find a better way to do it. We’ll continue to work closely with them moving forward to ensure Utahns have a voice,” he said.

Hatch’s office said Trump also agreed to follow the recommendations Zinke made on Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Neither set of recommendations have been officially released with any detail.

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