Park service tweet draws congressional probe

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By Matt Hoffman, Veuer

A tweet posted on December 29 by the National Park Service is now the subject of a congressional probe.

The day before, President Obama had designated over a million acres of Utah land as the Bears Ears National Monument. Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz, heads the House Oversight Committee and he finds the tweet suspicious because it says that a maps slot has "long been held" for the monument.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Chaffetz wrote in a letter to the Bryce Canyon superintendent, "The White House is [saying] that no decisions had been made — that it was still an open question — so how is it [National Park officials] were already ready to go with that information?"

Chaffetz, a Republican, has been criticized for not steering the Oversight Committee towards investigations of the Trump administration.

He recently chose not to look into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's potential connections to Russia.

18 PHOTOS
The beauty of the United States' National Parks
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The beauty of the United States' National Parks
Late afternoon view of Grand Canyon National Park, Cape Royal, North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA, (Photo by Wild Horizons/UIG via Getty Images)
USA Hawaii Big Island - magma of the Halema'uma'u (in Caldera des Kilauea, Volcanoes National Park) (Photo by Rolf Schulten/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Desert environment, Sand dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley national park, California, USA (Photo by: Geography Photos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
A large container ship passes under the Golden Gate Bridge on April 1, 2014, in San Francisco, California. San Francisco continues to be a major global tourist destination and has experienced a real estate and high-tech boom in recent years. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming (Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Mount Rushmore National Memorial towers over the South Dakota landscape on October 1, 2013 near Keystone, South Dakota. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Spray from Oregon's most photographed waterfall, Proxy Falls, beautifies nearby logs and rocks with lush growths of moss, Three Sisters Wilderness, Willamette National Forest, Oregon, USA, (Photo by Wild Horizons/UIG via Getty Images)
USA, Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, Teton Range, Pfeiffer's Homestead, Sagebrush. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
USA, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, Upper Geyser Basin, Chromatic Springs. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
 Fireworks explode over the Statue of Liberty in celebration of the anniversary of its dedication on October 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Bass Harbor Lighthouse. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
USA, Alaska, Gates of the Arctic National Park, river valley with mountains in background. (Photo By DEA / M. SANTINI/De Agostini/Getty Images)
The sensitive ecological landscape of the Everglades National Park, home to many endangered and rare plants, is seen from the air on March 16, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The moon and Venus shine beyond joshua trees under a storm-scoured sky in Joshua Tree National Monument, January 28, 2000, as a cold front moves out of southern California leaving snow in the desert and skies of blue. (Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers)
Because of excessive spring rains in 2005, the usually visible salt patterns in Badwater were covered with water for many weeks. (Photo by: MyLoupe/UIG via Getty Images)
USA, Northern California, Redwood National Park, Lady Bird Johnson Grove, Redwood Trees. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
USA, Alaska, Near Seward, Kenai Fjords Np, View Of Kenai Mountains. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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According to the Tribune, Bryce Canyon official Sue Fritzke responded to Chaffetz.

She said the map slot was created over the summer by a volunteer who had seen a news report about plans for the monument.

Those plans had indeed been in the news. As far back as January 2016,the Tribune has repeatedly reported on an inter-tribal coalition petitioning Obama about the land.

They had rejected a proposal put forward by representatives Rob Bishop and Chaffetz.

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