President Trump’s Interior Department just released draft management plans revealing their vision for how to manage what’s left of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments as well as the lands that were illegally excised from those monuments. It was only last December that the president unlawfully attacked both of these monuments.
We expected bad, but these plans are horrible.
At Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) plan sets the stage for the destruction of a unique landscape that has been protected for more than two decades.
The BLM’s preferred alternative would open huge swaths of Grand Staircase to new oil and gas leasing, mining, and off-road vehicle damage. And a new report released today from the Department of Interior crows that the lands cut from the original monument by President Trump are “rated high for development potential” of coal reserves.
The BLM is not shy about its intentions to oversee the destruction of this place. 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.
At Bears Ears, the plan is terrible, prioritizing consumptive uses such as grazing and logging while failing to protect cultural resources and wilderness-quality lands.
Under these just released plans even the smaller national monuments that
Trump left behind would be managed in a way that offers less protection
than they currently enjoy.
We’ll have more information for you in the coming days, as well as instructions on how you can tell Trump’s Department of Interior what you think of their plans to further decimate Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.
With your support, SUWA won’t rest until Trump’s unlawful orders are overturned—and we will do everything in our power to ensure that these terrible plans are never implemented.
Thank you for taking action.