• House Bill Re-introduced to Expand Bears Ears National Monument

    February 1, 2019

    Representatives Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Debra Haaland (D-NM), have re-introduced a bill that would expand the boundaries and protections for Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument.

    The “Bears Ears Expansion and Respect for Sovereignty Act” would expand the national monument boundaries to encompass the full 1.9 million acres of land identified by local tribes as sacred and significant. According to a press release by Gallego’s office, the legislation would also require federal land managers to draw on tribal expertise in manage the monument’s lands and protect over 100,000 archaeological and cultural sites in the area.”

    “This landscape is home to more than 100,000 artifacts and irreplaceable cultural resources that deserve protection,” said Tom Cassidy, vice president for government relations and policy for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “As we continue our legal challenge to the President’s effort to reduce the monument, we also support enhanced protections for these lands in Congress and applaud Reps. Gallego and Haaland for their leadership.”

    The bill has more than 70 original cosponsors and has been endorsed by the National Trust along with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, The Wilderness Society, Conservation Lands Foundation, Earthjustice, League of Conservation Voters, National Parks Conservation Association, Grand Canyon Trust, and Utah Diné Bikéyah.

    Join us in encouraging your representative to co-sponsor this legislation to protect this remarkable landscape.

  • Congressional Support for Bears Ears National Monument

    November 20, 2018

    Led by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), 26 Senators and 92 Members of Congress filed a brief as Amici Curiae on November 19 in support of consolidated lawsuits that challenge the legality of President Trump’s executive action to reduce existing national monument designations at Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in southern Utah. Barbara Pahl, senior vice president of field services for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, released a statement regarding the news:

    “We commend Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) for their leadership in standing up for the original boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument and for organizing a strong show of Congressional support for maintaining the integrity of the Antiquities Act. The reduction of the Bears Ears boundaries as proposed by the Trump Administration would do grave damage to an extraordinary cultural landscape and would violate the intention of a powerful preservation tool that enables presidents to establish national monuments—not diminish them.”

    The full statement may be viewed here.

  • Bears Ears at Risk! Comments due November 15

    October 31, 2018

    The public has an opportunity to review the management plan for Bears Ears—a place of extraordinary cultural significance in southeast Utah. Join us in making a strong statement of support for protecting its archaeological wonders from an insufficient plan and a flawed process!

    As you may recall, an executive order by President Trump removed nearly 85 percent of the land from the Bears Ears National Monument—an action we are currently challenging in court. Now, the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service have released draft management plans for the monument that fall short in major ways. The proposed plans only consider the management needs of the much smaller monument and are not sufficiently protective, leaving the land vulnerable to threats like mining, oil and gas extraction, looting, and vandalism.

    The deadline for the public comment period is fast approaching. Please act today to send the message that irreplaceable public lands like the Bears Ears National Monument deserve to be fully protected.

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 15, 2018.

  • Tell BLM that the national monument boundaries should be restored

    March 19, 2018

    Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

    photo by: Bob Wick/BLM

    Even though the National Trust’s legal challenge to the revocation of the Bears Ears National Monument is still pending in federal court, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is moving forward to develop a new resource management plan for the area and is asking for public input.

    Join us in seizing this opportunity to tell BLM that the national monument boundaries should be restored to ensure the maximum protection of Bears Ears’ cultural resources.

    Two public meetings will be held in Utah later this month. For those not able to attend, comments are due April 11, 2018.

    Let’s send a strong message that Bears Ears is a place of extraordinary significance and beauty and should be managed to ensure it is protected from conflicting, harmful uses such as looting, mining, and oil and gas drilling.

    Take Action

  • National Trust letter to the House Natural Resources Committee opposing HR 4532

    February 21, 2018

    On February 13, the National Trust sent a letter to the House Natural Resources Committee opposing legislation that would remove more than 1.1 million acres from the Bears Ears National Monument, including some of the most significant and highly visited archaeological areas.

    The Shash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act (H.R. 4532), introduced by Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), would protect just 15 percent of the original monument boundaries and establish a troubling new management structure that would put these lands at risk. The letter urges the Committee not to advance the legislation, and, instead, engage in meaningful discussions with Tribal governments, archaeological experts, conservationists, and other stakeholders about how to protect the exceptional cultural resources of the area for current and future generations.

    A total of 31 organizations and Tribal Nations signed the letter—a tremendous showing of support from those dedicated to preserving cultural, historic, and archaeological resources. The full letter may be viewed here.

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