FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 28, 2016
Moab, UT — In response to President Barack Obama designating the Bears Ears National Monument, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) Executive Director Scott Groene issued the following statement:
“We applaud the President’s decision and congratulate the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition for this historic protection of their ancestral homeland. The Monument will long benefit Utahns and Americans. It is the product of years of public discussion where all agreed this landscape is worthy of permanent protection.
“We urge the Utah congressional delegation to show leadership in coming down on the right side of history, by respecting the Tribes and supporting the Monument. Twenty years of history has shown that the fury and fight against the Grand Staircase National Monument accomplished nothing other than perpetuating animosity among Utahns. We should not repeat that mistake.
“Instead we should work together for legislation trading school trust lands within the monument for other lands that will benefit our schoolchildren. And with the universal agreement that the region’s extraordinary cultural resources deserve protection, we ask the delegation to ensure adequate funding for monument management.
“This is an important measure for land conservation and for making amends for our Nation and State’s horrific historic treatment of Native Americans. We celebrate this step forward.”