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.