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Map suggests reducing national monument to 200,000 acres

Maps obtained by a Salt Lake City newspaper show that Kane County officials suggested to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that the nearly 2 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah could be shrunk to about one-tenth the size.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the map reduced the monument to about 200,000 acres in two areas. County officials refused to release the map presented to Zinke at a closed-door meeting in May, saying it’s an incomplete draft that could mislead the public. The newspaper obtained a version from state public lands officials.

Commission chairman Dirk Clayson says the map does not represent the county’s stance on the monument’s futures boundaries. He says the map is “merely a suggestion of locations that should be managed and promoted for high visitation.”

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