On April 24, the Editorial Board of Utah’s largest newspaper, the Salt Lake Tribune, argued strongly for President Obama to designate a Bears Ears National Monument:
Just about everyone who spoke at Wednesday’s meeting of the Utah Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands was arguing for President Obama to order the creation of a 1.9 million acre Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah.
So that is exactly what Obama should do.
The editorial was likely prompted not just by the wide grassroots support for protecting Bears Ears — throughout Utah, among Native Americans, and across the nation — but equally by “the attitude of commission members who [were] so dismissive, uninformed and short-sighted that they were actually, if inadvertently, making the case for Obama to unsheath the federal Antiquities Act [.]”
As the Tribune editorial points out, Utah politicians don’t seem to understand that:
. . . decisions made about this and other national monuments, parks and wilderness areas aren’t about Utah. They aren’t about the few who rule over the many in the Legislature or on the San Juan County Commission. They aren’t even really about the United States of America.
They are about natural and cultural heritage and treasures that belong to all humanity. That the United States, by accidents of history and geography, happens to own that land and owns the duty to care for it in ways that make it available, first to the descendants of those who lived there millennia ago, then to the rest of us.
As the Salt Lake Tribune editorial concludes, “Obama [should] end the delay, the bickering and the suspense and create the Bears Ears National Monument.”
The time to protect Bears Ears is now.