Trump defends scaling back Utah monuments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says his plan to scale back two national monuments in Utah is an important move for “state’s rights” as well as for the people of Utah.

Trump commented Monday as he left the White House for a trip to Salt Lake City, where he was outlining his intention to shrink the Bears Ears and the Grand-Staircase Escalante national monuments. Both monuments span millions of acres in Utah and are among 27 national monuments that Trump ordered his Interior Secretary to review earlier this year.

Trump previously had condemned the act of creating the Utah monuments as a “massive federal land grab.”

Utah Republican leaders had complained that the monuments locked up too much federal land.

Both monuments were created by Democratic Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.