ST. George, Utah — The public comment period is drawing to a close as the Bureau of Land Management will move to create new management plans for the reduced national monuments in southern Utah.

The Spectrum reports comments were given at the scoping meetings held last month in Kanab, Escalante, Blanding and Bluff, and people can still submit written comments to the bureau before the Friday deadline.

President Donald Trump in December downsized the Bears Ears National Monument by about 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly half.

The action drew criticism from Native American tribes and environmentalists who said the monuments protected rich natural and archaeological resources.

Republican state leaders supported president’s move, saying the monuments limited what can be done with the millions of acres they encompass.

Information from: The Spectrum,

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