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.