Letter to the Editor | June 1, 2017

The Bears Ears Monument

This letter appeared in the New York Times on June 1, 2017

To the Editor:

A Vast Divide” (news article, May 15) noted that opponents of the designation of Bears Ears in Utah as a national monument describe the Obama administration’s action as a “land grab” and compared it to “grand theft.” But ownership of the land has not changed. Bears Ears remains in the hands of the American people.

Bears Ears helps tell the full history of human civilization in our country, and we feel strongly that it deserves its new status alongside other beloved national monuments dedicated using the Antiquities Act.

For years, Bears Ears had been left woefully unprotected, and its priceless petroglyphs, pictographs and other resources were being lost to looting, vandalism, reckless recreation and other threats.

As the Trump administration considers the status of Bears Ears, at issue is not who should own this iconic landscape but rather whether this special place and its unparalleled collection of cultural resources deserve to be adequately protected for all Americans.


The writer is president and chief executive of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This letter appeared in the New York Times on June 1, 2017.


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