Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Interior Secretary Zinke to visit famed Dugout Ranch

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, in his second full day in San Juan County, is scheduled to visit the Dugout Ranch northwest of Monticello as part of his review of the Bears Ears National Monument designation. His schedule for Tuesday events was abruptly changed and comes amid thunder, clouds and rain, which may impact a horseback tour through the region. The Dugout Ranch was bought by the Nature Conservancy in 1997 but is still operated by Heidi Redd and her family. In addition to hosting 500 cattle, the lush valley surrounded by red rock is also home to the Canyonlands Research Center, where scientists and ecologists look at the impacts of climate change on the ground. It was also the site of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell's visit to the region in 2016, during which the Nature Conservancy expressed some concern that the work at the ranch would be allowed to continue should a monument be designated. On Wednesday, the former GOP congressman from Montana and Navy Seal commander is slated to visit Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. That designation in 1996 has also provoked controversy because of its size...more

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