But he said he will press for some boundary changes and left open the possibility of allowing drilling, mining or other industries on the sites.
His recommendation for the 87,500-acre (35,410-hectare) Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument came a year to the day that then-President Barack Obama formally announced the land designation. The Interior Department did not give specifics on Zinke's recommendations, instead releasing a report summary that described each of the 27 protected areas.
Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, whose district encompasses both monuments, told FOX 13 he can live with shrinking them.
"Bears Ears is an American wonderland of sandstone canyons, desert mesas, and forested highlands sacred to Native American peoples and important to us all".
The White House said only that it received Zinke's recommendations and is reviewing them.
Zinke released a statement saying that monuments will be scaled back, but did not mention which ones.
"Any change, be it a boundary change or a change to the management of those lands could have pretty significant impacts to the lands", he said.More news: Schools face decision on how to keep kids safe during solar eclipse
"The summary of the secretary's recommendations leaves everything to the imagination", said Peter Shelley, senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to retain a newly created national monument in northern ME but he may recommend some changes. "Zinke, Trump and their friends in the dirty fuel industry plan to do with our public lands under the guise of this sham review". "That's a very selfish attitude".
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rides a horse in the Bears Ears National Monument near Blanding, Utah.
New Mexico's other Democratic congressional leaders have also pushed for no changes. Zinke is not, however, rescinding any of the 27 monuments under review. The Interior Department said Thursday that this process was "the first time ever that a formal comment period was open on regulations.gov for national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act".
"The Antiquities Act does not give the federal government unlimited power to lock up millions of acres of land and water, and it's time that we ended this abusive practice", Trump said in April.
The review was conducted on federal land in 11 mostly Western states.
The review raised alarm among conservationists concerned by the possible loss of ancient cliff dwellings, towering sequoia trees, deep canyons and ocean habitats. "Interior Sec. Zinke clearly understands that eliminating any national monuments outright would have provoked a massive backlash from the American people". It was written to protect objects of historical and scientific interest but was never meant to allow a president to determine the management of enormous swaths of public land, he said. "This narrative is false and has no basis in fact", it continued. However, he dismissed fears about the intention to sell off public lands. He arbitrarily "pardoned" six national monuments, without providing any criteria for his decisions to leave current protections in place. Trump said past presidents employed a more than 100-year-old law called the Antiquities Act to preserve the monuments while overreaching their presidential powers. Bishop echoed that, calling efforts to conserve national monuments as something coming from groups that make "a nice income" through lawsuits, an obvious dig at organizations such as the Center for Biological Diversity, publishers of The Revelator.
Arguments about federal overreach in the Obama and Clinton eras - which oversaw the creation of many new national monuments - were sometimes meekly given by government officials, the primary reason that eliminations were expected were opportunistic economic ones.