Zinke coming to New Mexico in tightly controlled visit

FILE - In this May 9, 2017, file photo, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rides a horse in the new Bears Ears National Monument near Blanding, Utah. Zinke on Monday, June 12, 2017, recommended that the new national monument in Utah be reduced in size and said Congress should step in to designate how selected areas of the 1.3 million-acre site are managed. (Scott G Winterton/The Deseret News via AP, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is visiting New Mexico this week as part of his nationwide tour connected to a review of 27 national monument designations.

But Zinke is limiting his availability to reporters and avoiding a Las Cruces, New Mexico, town hall meeting with monument designation supporters.

The interior secretary is scheduled Thursday to take a helicopter tour of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in southern New Mexico. After that visit, he will meet briefly with supporters and opponents and hold a quick press conference.

He is scheduled Friday to go on a private hike and meet with supporters of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico.

Zinke also is slated Saturday to go on a private horseback ride with Democratic Sen. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich.