Three years ago, President Trump, in an act thought by many to be illegal, cut the size of Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and Grand Staircase - Escalante by 50%. President Trump has now been replaced by President Biden and the future of those two monuments in particular, and our public lands in general, looks much brighter.
Ancestral Puebloan structure in an area of Bears Ears National Monument removed from protection by Trump's proclamation three years ago. Photo: © Donald J. Rommes
The following statement was posted on the Friends of Cedar Mesa website on January 20, 2021. Please consider joining the Friends in protecting this vulnerable area.
Posted on Jan 20, 2021
Today the Biden Administration announced an executive order directing the Department of Interior “to protect our nation’s treasures by reviewing the boundaries and conditions of the Grand Staircase-Escalante, Bears Ears, Northeast Canyons, and Seamounts Marine National Monuments . . .”
Friends of Cedar Mesa is heartened by President Biden’s swift action to initiate a review of the previous administration’s attempt to dramatically reduce the size of Bears Ears National Monument. We are hopeful for a thoughtful and thorough evaluation of the protections needed for this globally important cultural landscape and encourage robust engagement with Indigenous leaders and the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition.
We remind everyone that the continuing coverage of the Bears Ears issues likely means a continued increase in visitation to this sensitive area. As such, it’s incumbent on all to become educated about the practical ways we can Visit with Respect and ensure the area is preserved while the next steps are being determined.