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Herbert: Presidential visit is “monumental”

Photo credit: Becky Bruce, KSL Newsradio

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert, R-Utah, says the state was excited to welcome President Trump to Salt Lake City on Monday.

President Trump landed at the Utah Air National Guard base, near Salt Lake International, this morning, in order to announce a reduction in size for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

According to details leaked by the Washington Post, Bears Ears will be shrunk by 85% and The Grand Staircase will be cut by half.

Herbert anticipated the President’s arrival to Salt Lake City in a live interview with the Doug Wright Show. The governor said President Trump wanted to focus on “thanking the Utah people for their successes and diverse economy.”

Herbert says he and his team have been working closely with the White House staff, but his role was to introduce Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who he calls an “American hero.”

Herbert said regardless of the exact details of the realignment of the monuments or their reduction in size, there will be no changes in ownership of the land. He stresses it will not be used for energy or oil, and will continue to be owned by the government.

“It’s a complex issue,” stated Herbert. “There is so much misinformation.”

The governor plans to release an editorial in order to dispel myths about the debate.

“I hope one recommendation comes out providing legislation which gives Native Americans control of what happens in some areas,” said the governor. “But that can’t happen without congressional action.”