Statement | June 12, 2017

National Trust Strongly Opposes Weakening the Antiquities Act and Reversing Protections for Bears Ears National Monument

Today, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced he would be recommending that the size of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument be reduced.

In response to this announcement, the National Trust for Historic Preservation issued the following statement:

“Though it’s short on details, this interim recommendation directly threatens one of the nation’s most significant cultural landscapes and undermines the Antiquities Act,” said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Since its first use by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, Democratic and Republican presidents alike have used the Antiquities Act more than 150 times to designate iconic places from the Statue of Liberty to Devils Tower.

“Bears Ears clearly deserves to join this list. With tens of thousands of cultural and archaeological sites including Ice Age hunting camps, prehistoric cliff dwellings, granaries, towers, and petroglyphs Bears Ears contains the physical evidence of 12,000 years of human civilization in North America some of which predates the arrival of the first European explorers.

“The National Trust strongly opposes this step toward weakening the Antiquities Act and reversing protections for areas within the Bears Ears National Monument. We look forward to working with a broad coalition of partners to defend the monument designation and ensure that Bears Ears retains the protection it so clearly deserves.”

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.
SavingPlaces.org | @savingplaces

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