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Groups Collect Millions of Comments in Support of National Monuments Amid Federal Review

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Environmental groups say they’ve gathered more than 2.5 million comments in support of national monuments in Arizona. It comes as the Trump administration conducts a review of more than two dozen monument designations. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

The Grand Canyon-Parashant, Vermilion Cliffs, Ironwood Forest and Sororan Desert national monuments are part of the review. Groups like the Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association as well as Navajo, Hopi and Havasupai leaders, say any revisions to the monument declarations would undermine protections for public lands.

Meanwhile, three Republican Arizona congressman have asked the Secretary of the Interior to fully repeal the four Arizona monuments. Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs and Trent Franks say the designations ignore local input and lock-up public lands from recreation and economic activity.

The national monuments were designated by President Bill Clinton near the end of his second term.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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