PHOTOS: Thousands Of Pro-Monument Supporters Rally Ahead Of Trump's Utah Visit | KUER 90.1

PHOTOS: Thousands Of Pro-Monument Supporters Rally Ahead Of Trump's Utah Visit

Dec 3, 2017

Thousands of protesters fired up by President Donald Trump's expected announcement to shrink two national monuments in Utah rallied in Salt Lake City on Saturday. Click photo for a gallery by RadioWest's Kelsie Moore.

Crowds converged on the steps of the Utah State Capitol to denounce Trump's decision, many chanting and holding signs with messages such as ``Protect Wild Utah.'' Native American groups, some in tribal dress, danced or formed drum circles.

Roughly 5,000 people showed up to the rally, according to the Utah Highway Patrol. The demonstration remained relatively peaceful.

Trump is scheduled to visit the state on Monday, when he will announce a plan to reduce the size of Bears Ears and Staircase-Escalante National Monuments by nearly two-thirds. Those monuments were designated by former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, respectively.

Trump's move would be the first such act by a president in half a century. Environmentalists and tribal leaders have decried the decision as illegal and an affront to Native Americans.

Leaked documents obtained by The Associated Press show that Trump plans to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by nearly 85 percent and reduce Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by almost half.

The plan would cut the total amount of land in the state's red rock country protected under monument status from more than 3.2 million acres (5,000 square miles) to about 1.2 million acres (1,875 square miles).

Trump has told Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch and other Utah officials that he will follow the recommendation of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to shrink both monuments.