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.
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.
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.
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.