Photo by Ravonelle Yazzie

Help us Keep Bears Ears Alive with Native Culture

PUBLIC COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED.

The Bears Ears National Monument Draft Environmental Impact Statement is open for public review. Take action by submitting a public comment. Please ask the BLM to halt this planning process while litigation is underway and if they refuse, ask them to slow down and do this the right way by including Native perspectives as they writing this land plan. A great deal of inter-governmental trust was established in the creation of Bears Ears National Monument, and the entire purpose of creating the monument will be undermined if Native American cultural practitioners are left out.

 

The courts have been asked to decide whether President Trump’s action to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by 85% is legal, yet the Tribes who were NOT consulted prior to this action are now told to share their wisdom or risk losing everything, again. This way of treating indigenous people is tiresome especially given how much they know, and the stakes we all face if this landscape continues to be mismanaged by officials who do not know it. Please help us by submitting a letter before November 15th asking the BLM and USFS to halt planning and to respectfully engage Tribes. Here are some ideas you might raise in your letter:

  • Emphasize that the entire 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument must be considered in the monument management process, as specified by Proclamation 9558, otherwise countless cultural and environmental resources will remain unprotected and vulnerable to looting and destruction
  • Current alternatives lack tribal input due to ongoing litigation, and for this reason alone the DEIS process should be invalidated and halted
  • Ask for more time. Tribal members have lived on these lands since time immemorial and 90-Days is not enough time to meaningfully gather the information tribal members hold to inform the environmental and cultural analysis
  • In addition to a single meeting to be held in Bluff in October, ask that BLM open houses be held in Salt Lake City, Moab, Window Rock, AZ, and Cortez, CO. These are public lands and we are all affected
  • Emphasize that the federal government must meaningfully consult with sovereign tribes on a government-to-government basis
  • Explain that the Bears Ears National Monument is a sacred, traditional cultural landscape that is interwoven with cultural ties and must be considered in its entirety, rather than reduced, divided, and managed piece by broken pieces
  • State that the Congressional objective of the Antiquities Act, National Historic Preservation Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and other federal legislation has been to protect Native American cultural resources and it is not the legislative intent for the executive branch to destroy these important resources within public lands. Once gone, they can never be restored.
  • Ask the BLM to halt the monument management planning processes for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante until the courts reach a decision about the validity of (Trump’s) Proclamation 9681 and whether to maintain the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument, which was created through the Antiquities Act in Proclamation 9558
  • In addition, please add your personal experiences, observations, and expertise about why Bears Ears needs ongoing protection and restoration back to its original 1.35-million-acre size. Why does Bears Ears matter to you, and what should the BLM consider?

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS!

The public comment period is now over. We have had a terrific response and appreciate all of your input. Your voice is so important to our mission. Thank you.