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Bears Ears Monument Advisory Committee Video

For Immediate Release: June 7, 2019
Contact – Alastair Lee Bitsóí: (917) 202-8308 

BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT – In case you missed the Bears Ears National Monument Advisory Committee (MAC) meeting earlier this week, we have video coverage of the two-day meeting on our Utah Diné Bikéyah YouTube Channel

The videos include voices from Jonah Yellowman, our spiritual advisor and board member, and Cynthia Wilson, our traditional foods program director. The pair, along with a few others, told the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that its 15-appointees to the MAC consists entirely of members who were vocally against Bears Ears or have been silent on the issue. Nobody who holds a vision for activating this cultural landscape through Native culture was appointed. 

Litigation of the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument is ongoing, consequently Tribes and spiritual leaders like Yellowman have asked repeatedly for planning to Bears Ears be halted. 

“Bears Ears was set aside for a purpose,” Yellowman said, before adding, “…Have respect for our people, our medicine people. For all tribes, who came together for this.” According to President Obama’s Bears Ears Proclamation, the MAC “shall consist of a fair and balanced representation of interested stakeholders.” 

How is this management plan going to incorporate the 75 elder interviews that drafted the proposal and created the maps that you guys are looking at,” Wilson told the MAC. “We would not be here today if it were not for the unity of the five tribes (Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute, Pueblo of Zuni and Ute Indian Tribe) asking for the protection of this national monument.” 

The MAC, which lacks fair and balanced representation, made a recommendation to the BLM yesterday on its soon to be released Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision on the Trump Proclamation of the smaller Shash Jaa’ and Indian Creek units of Bears Ears National Monument. They began to endorse the multiple-use “Alternative D” on all issues not covered, but in the end just asked that the conservation “Alternatives B & C” not be adopted. Their preference on issues they did discuss generally favored the “No-Action Alternative” or a weakened version of the weak conservation Alternative D.” 

UDB Chairman Davis Filfred says, “Clearly this MAC committee does not hold a vision for the future of Bears Ears, nor have they attempted to listen to the needs and desires of their neighbors among the ten Native American communities in San Juan County, or the Utes and Pueblos, who hold ancestral ties here. Tourism and mining alone, are not the answer. UDB believes following the lead of local Native youth and elders is the best way forward. Of course that assumes that those in power decide to listen.” 

For a copy of our official press release click on the image below.