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Senator says Trump rolling back protections at Utah sites

One of Utah’s senators says President Donald Trump has decided to reverse protections established by two Democratic presidents to more than 3.6 million acres at two national monuments in the state.

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch says he’s “incredibly grateful” that Trump called him on Friday to say he is approving Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s proposal on the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

The White House isn’t confirming the decision ahead of Trump’s announcement.

Hatch says he and Trump believe there should be protections for the monuments but there is “a better way to do it” by working with local officials and tribes.

Environmental groups have promised to take the Trump administration to court to block any attempts to rescind or reduce the monument designations.

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