President Trump has asked Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a 45-day review of the Bears Ears National Monument in Southern Utah. We now have until before May 26th to submit comments to save this designation that honors Tribes and protects an important cultural landscape.
The Bears Ears Coalition has written a letter to Secretary Zinke that you can sign, saying the following: “Bears Ears is a sacred landscape with more than 100,000 Native American cultural sites. The proposal to establish it was developed by a coalition of five sovereign Tribal Governments (Hopi, Navajo, Ute Mountain Ute, Ute, and Zuni). Bears Ears is also home to scientific wonders, irreplaceable wildlife, biodiversity and recreational opportunities that form a vital base to the local economy.
This designation received an enormous amount of careful consideration, including years of listening to stakeholders. The final monument designation boundaries are very close to what was proposed in the Utah delegation’s Public Lands Initiative (PLI), and much smaller (550,000 acres) than the Tribally-led proposal. Please leave Bears Ears National Monument’s boundaries intact so that future generations will be able to explore, enjoy, and learn from this national treasure.”
Since it was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the Antiquities Act has been used on a bipartisan basis by the majority of U.S. Presidents(8 Republicans and 8 Democrats) to protect America’s most iconic natural, cultural, and historic places. The widespread diversity of historic, cultural, and natural treasures that have been protected by the Antiquities Act is the reason why groups representing sportsmen, cultural heritage organizations, evangelicals, conservation, recreation businesses, historic preservation, and many others all oppose efforts to undermine this vital law.
The public overwhelming supports national parks, monuments, and public lands and oceans. A 2014 Hart Research poll showed that 90% of voters supported Presidential proposals to protect some public lands and waters as parks, wildlife refuges and wilderness. In the 2017 Conservation in the West poll, only 13% of western voters supported removing protections for existing monuments while 80% supported keeping them in place.
In addition, numerous studies have shown that communities located near monuments and other protected public lands have stronger economies, and that the outdoor and recreational opportunities they provide increase residents’ quality of life, making areas near monuments more attractive to new residents, entrepreneurs and small businesses, and investment.
HECHO strongly supports the protection of these monuments, which are tied to familial and cultural outdoor traditions. As we wrote in a recent Albuquerque Journal op-ed, “Through these monuments, the American people benefit from a more complete range of the stories that have and continue to shape our nation. We need more of them, not less.
As this review moves forward, we must voice our concerns and speak consistently and loudly about the importance of these special places and our outdoor heritage. We must urge our elected and appointed leaders to support our national monuments, not eliminate or shrink these lands that are essential cultural and historical touchstones for a variety of people and communities. We must do all that we can to protect our public lands for this and future generations.”
Sign the letter to Secretary Zinke today and add your personal comment here. Bottom of Form