Threat: Protect Utah’s Rural Economy (PURE) Act – proponents of this bill say it would give Utah’s rural communities a real voice in local land management policies. This is #fakenews! In fact, this proposed act would prevent the American president from establishing or expanding a national monument in Utah, unless the proposed monument has been authorized by an act of Congress or Utah’s state legislature. This bill, which UDB has dubbed the (IM)PURE Act, is jointly sponsored by Senators Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Mike Lee., R-Utah.
Fact: The (IM)PURE Act is really about protecting the interests of large resource extractive industries. The Department of Interior is leasing our public lands to coal, oil and gas companies and National Monument status precluding new mining leases. If we want public land management policies that enhance Utah’s rural economies we need to compare the economies of counties that rely on resource extractive industries to those that depend on the sustainable economic sectors that hold promise.
Resource extractive industries that lease our public lands subject their host counties to boom and bust episodes that impede orderly growth and hinder opportunities for creating locally owned business. The resource extractive industries are almost always headquartered in locations far removed from Utah’s rural counties. They are subject to national and global markets and corporate policies outside of the influence of Utah’s local governments. Their profits do not end up in Utah and when losses inevitably occur, they are forced to layoff thousands of employees without consideration of the impact on local families. Instead of exporting the wealth of Utah’s rural counties, we should focus on the abundant opportunities and support local entrepreneurship by importing and recirculating wealth and encouraging local and Native owned businesses who will respond to local needs.
Most importantly, the intent of this bill, is to hinder our likely outcome of restoring Bears Ears National Monument. Utah politicians continue to suppress, the political voices of Tribes of the Bears Ears region by suggesting that only the majority of the Utah state legislature should be the final authority in establishing or expanding land protection in Utah, when the tribes should be treated as sovereign nations and not be subject to state rule, especially in places like Utah, where Tribes are often left out of local planning efforts.
Earlier this fall, Willie Grayeyeyes, who previously served as UDB board member before resigning and being elected to the San Juan County Commission, talked about how the (IM)PURE ACT is actually an assault on Native American voices. He says:
Right now, take action and call Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee, as well as your U.S. Senators to defeat this horrific bill. Tell Senators Lee and Romney to listen to Native Americans and work with the newly elected Native majority San Juan County Commission; and local Native communities who are nearly unanimous in our support for Bears Ears and the Antiquities Act.
To contact Senator Romney, call 202-224-5251 or 801-524-4380! To contact Senator Lee, call 202-224-5444 or 801-524-5933.
Links to the (IM)PURE ACT
READ HERE AN OP-ED FROM WILLIE GRAYEYES, former Utah Dine Bikeyah Board member and San Juan County Commissioner about the PURE ACT in August 2018.
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#StandWithBearsEars #HonorTribes #BearsEarsHeals