Trump arrives in Utah to declare monument reductions

Published on December 04, 2017 at 11:18AM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — President Donald Trump has arrived in Salt Lake City, where he’s expected to announce plans to shrink two sprawling national monuments in Utah created by past presidents.

Air Force One touched down mid-morning on Monday. Trump is expected to meet first with Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leaders and tour the church’s charitable-giving operation at Welfare Square.

He’s then expected to declare reductions of the Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante national monuments, which span millions of acres.

Utah’s Republican leaders say the monuments declared by Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton locked up too much federal land, but the planned changes have angered tribes and environmentalist groups who have vowed to sue.

Thousands of people gathered over the weekend to protest, and demonstrators also lined up Monday in snowy weather.