SUWA Statement on BLM’s Draft Management Plans for Illegally-Reduced National Monuments in Utah

Aug 15th, 2018 Written by suwa

For Immediate Release
August 15, 2018

Contact: Stephen Bloch, Legal Director, 801-428-3981

Salt Lake City, UT – In response to the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) release of draft management plans for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, which were illegally reduced by President Trump in December of last year, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance Legal Director Stephen Bloch released the following statement:

“The BLM’s proposed management plan for the lands President Trump unlawfully carved out of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is not only illegal, but sets the stage for the destruction of this unique landscape that has been protected for more than two decades. The BLM’s preferred alternative would open this remarkable place to new oil and gas leasing, mining, and off-road vehicle damage.”

“The BLM is very open about its intentions.  To quote directly from the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, their preferred alternative would ‘conserve the least land area for physical, biological, and cultural resources … and is the least restrictive to energy and mineral development.’ Places like the Circle Cliffs region along the Burr Trail and Wolverine Loop Roads and the Vermillion Cliffs east of Kanab are now in the crosshairs and at immediate risk of being irreparably destroyed. Even the lands that Trump left as national monuments would be managed in a way that is less protective than they currently enjoy.”

The plan for Bears Ears National Monument is equally bad, prioritizing consumptive uses such as grazing and logging and failing to protect cultural resources and wilderness-quality lands.”

“SUWA won’t rest until Trump’s unlawful orders are overturned and will do everything in our power to ensure that these plans are never implemented.”