Bears Ears - Page 15 of 16

  • March 16th, 2016

    On Tuesday, March 15, a group of students from campuses along the Wasatch Front gathered at the Utah State Capitol in united opposition to Rep. Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative (PLI), and to show support for a Bears Ears National Monument as proposed by a historic coalition of Native American Tribes. After speaking to the media, they delivered a letter to Governor Gary Herbert outlining their concerns.

    “We are the generation that will inherit the problems that come from the short-sighted, profit-driven decision making by our elected officials,” said Karsyn Ansari, a recent graduate from the University of Utah Environmental Studies program. “We are here today to fight for our right and the right of future generations to experience redrock wilderness.”

    Student letter PLI press conference

    Students address the media from the steps of the Utah Capitol. Copyright Dave Pacheco/SUWA

    Jared Meek of Brigham Young University said “Many students have been paying attention to the PLI process and to put it lightly we are not pleased with the current proposal.”

    The students expressed deep concern about the ability of their generation (and future generations) to enjoy Utah’s fabled redrock country as it is, and to meet it on its own terms, not on terms set forth by fossil fuel developers favored by Mr. Bishop’s proposal.

    Students vow to continue their campaign against the Public Lands Initiative, and to stay involved in the public process, since Utah political leaders did not give them a voice when the legislation was being drafted. They explained how Mr. Bishop’s process was heavily weighted in favor of rural county commissioners to the exclusion of Utah’s majority population of urban dwellers, themselves included.

    Watch the Fox13 and KSL TV stories and read news coverage in the Logan Herald Journal and Deseret News.

    Add your voice! There’s still time to comment on the draft Public Lands Initiative. If you haven’t yet done so, please click here to submit your comments.


  • January 11th, 2016

    Big news! A new poll shows that 2/3 of Utah residents support the creation of a Bears Ears National Monument.

    The highly-regarded Conservation in the West Poll, issued annually by the Colorado College State of the Rockies Project, found that 66% of Utahns support monument designation for nearly two million acres of existing public lands surrounding the Bears Ears Buttes.

    Click here to ask President Obama to protect Bears Ears.

    The Colorado College poll is not the only recent big news to come out of the Native American-led campaign to protect the Bears Ears.

    On New Year’s Eve, the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition sent a formal letter to Utah Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, telling them that the Tribes are stepping away from the Public Lands Initative (PLI) process and instead are asking President Obama to use the Antiquities Act to create a Bears Ears National Monument.

    Click here to ask President Obama to protect Bears Ears.

    The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition is a partnership between the Hopi, Zuni, Ute Mountain Ute, Navajo and Ute Indian Tribes. In October, they formally presented their proposal for a collaboratively-managed, 1.9 million acre Bears Ears National Monument to the President as well as to Bishop and Chaffetz.


    Cliff dwelling in the Bears Ears region. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

    Participating in the PLI process was “to no avail,” according to the Coalition’s letter. “Not once did anyone from the Utah delegation or the PLI make a single substantive comment, positively or negatively, on our proposal.”

    Furthermore, according to the letter, the delegation failed to make good on its “guarantee” to deliver a draft of the PLI to the Coalition by December 30th (as we write this, a draft of the PLI still has yet to be released).

    “Time is of the essence,” the letter concludes. “We don’t feel we can wait any longer before engaging with the Obama administration . . . in the hope that they will advance our proposal via the Antiquities Act.”

    Please send a message to Obama today asking him to protect Bears Ears.

    There’s no question that the Bears Ears region, with more than 100,000 cultural and archaeological sites, is worthy of protection via the Antiquities Act. Please, add your voice today, and be sure to follow the Coalition on Twitter and Facebook.

    Thank you for taking action.

  • December 3rd, 2015

    We wanted to make sure you saw this op-ed from Herman Daniels, Jr. in Sunday’s edition of the Salt Lake Tribune. Mr. Daniels is a Navajo Nation Council Delegate representing the Utah communities of Naa’tsis’Áán (Navajo Mountain) and Oljato (Monument Valley). He writes:

    Recently, a number of people have tried to speak on behalf of Native Americans who live in Utah — including those of us who are Navajo and live in San Juan County.

    False statements have been made to the media, claiming that the proposal put forward last month by five tribes — Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Ute Mountain Ute and Uintah Ouray Ute — to protect the Bears Ears as a national monument is not supported by native communities and local people in San Juan County.

    Mr. Daniels explains how Navajo Chapter Houses are “the fundamental building block[s] of Navajo democracy,” and how six of the seven Chapter Houses in Utah have passed resolutions in support of protecting Bears Ears. “[I]t becomes clear that the Navajo people who live in San Juan County overwhelmingly support the creation of a 1.9 million acre Bears Ears National Monument,” he writes.

    Mr. Daniels continues:

    In an Oct. 29 interview on KSL Radio’s Doug Wright show, Utah Rep. Rob Bishop stated that in the Public Lands Initiative process, he “need[s] to give precedence to the Native Americans who live in Utah.” As a council delegate representing Utah, I could not agree more and I can assure the congressman that he has local Navajo support in protecting Bears Ears.

    If Bishop agrees to give precedence to the Native Americans who live in Utah, then he should understand that we have already spoken, and with overwhelming unity we have asked for Bears Ears to be protected. . . . What we have said, and continue to say, is this: It is time to protect Bears Ears, and if it can’t be passed in the coming months through the Public Lands Initiative, then the president should declare this living cultural landscape as a national monument for all.

    The op-ed really is worth reading in its entirety.