• 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.

  • Bears Ears Still in Jeopardy

    January 8, 2018

    As you know, in late November, President Trump issued a proclamation that revoked national monument status for 85 percent of the land included in the original Bears Ears National Monument designation. This would remove protections for many well-known historic, scientific, and cultural areas that are deeply significant to Native American heritage and culture.

    This egregious and unlawful act spurred us to join a broad coalition including Native American, conservation, and outdoor enthusiast groups in filing a lawsuit to stop the dismantling of Bears Ears National Monument.

    While our legal challenge moves forward, we need to turn back another threat to this priceless landscape: A new bill that would nullify the original Bears Ears National Monument proclamation and codify into law President Trump’s much smaller monument boundaries.

    If passed, the Shash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act, introduced by Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), would protect just 15 percent of the original Bears Ears National Monument footprint. It would also undermine the Bears Ears Commission, which includes representatives from the five tribes who work alongside federal agencies to ensure appropriate management of historic and cultural resources in the area.

    Join us today in urging your lawmakers to oppose this damaging bill that would remove protections from one of America’s most treasured cultural landscapes. A hearing for this bill is scheduled for January 9, 2018.

  • Broad Coalition Sues to Stop Trump Administration’s Unlawful Dismemberment of the Bears Ears National Monument

    December 6, 2017

    On December 6, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, along with our partner groups Patagonia Works, Utah Diné Bikéyah, Friends of Cedar Mesa, Archaeology Southwest, Conservation Lands Foundation, Access Fund, and the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology, filed a lawsuit to block President Trump’s attempt to revoke protections for approximately 85 percent of the Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah.

    Stephanie K. Meeks, President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation said:

    “Bears Ears National Monument tells the story of human civilization in North America thousands of years before the arrival of the first Europeans, and our nation cannot afford to have this sacred place opened to looting, vandalism or destructive oil and gas development. Shrinking the boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument is a direct assault on the Antiquities Act, one of America’s bedrock conservation and preservation laws that has helped to ensure the protection of many irreplaceable cultural landscapes across the United States. This unprecedented action does not represent the will of the American people, and is, in fact, destructive to all we hold dear as a nation. We look forward to defending Bears Ears, the Antiquities Act, and America’s unparalleled system of public lands.”

    The full press release may be read here.

  • Stand with Bears Ears! Urge Washington to Protect this Priceless Cultural Landscape

    December 4, 2017

    Today, President Trump announced an 85 percent reduction in the land area of Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. This is a monumental mistake. Join us in urging your lawmakers in Washington to show their support for the preservation of this priceless cultural landscape.

    In the words of Utah Navajo elder, Mark Maryboy, “Bears Ears is one of the last undisturbed areas our people have.” It is “full of historic, archeological, and paleontological sites, and biological and ecological species that need protection. For those reasons, it’s very important that we protect the earth, the plants, and special ceremonial places in Bears Ears for future generations—not just for Native Americans, but for everybody.”

    Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) recently introduced legislation that would expand the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument to match the original 1.9 million acre national monument proposal from the five tribes that proposed the Bears Ears National Monument designation to the Obama administration. Gallego’s bill would also ensure that management decisions affecting the monument would reflect tribal expertise and traditional and historical knowledge.

    Let’s show Washington that we care about the future of one of our nation’s most important cultural landscapes.

    Take Action Now.

  • Rep. Ruben Gallego Introduces Bill to Protect Bears Ears National Monument

    December 1, 2017

    Today, Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) introduced a bill to protect the Bears Ears National Monument from an unprecedented attempt by the Trump administration to downsize and redraw the monument’s boundaries.

    The bill has been endorsed by the 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 the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

    “The tens of thousands of artifacts and irreplaceable historic resources at Bears Ears make it one of the nation’s most significant cultural landscapes,” said Tom Cassidy, Vice President for Government Relations and Policy for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The National Trust applauds Congressman Gallego’s leadership on legislation to protect the existing Bears Ears monument and adjacent areas of national significance.”

    Learn more about the bill on Rep. Gallego's website.

    Tell your lawmakers to support the Bears Ears National Monument Expansion Act and protect this special place.

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