Obama Administration public hearing on Bears Ears

Departments of Interior, Agriculture Announce Public Hearing on Bears Ears National Monument in Bluff, UT, on July 16

 

  • Saturday, July 16 – 11AM – Bluff, UT
  • Interior Secretary Sally Jewell & USDA Under Secretary Robert Bonnie visiting to hear from grassroots locals & tribal leaders about the future of Bears Ears
  • Bluff Community Center: 3rd East & Mulberry
  • Be there by 11AM to make sure you get a seat – meeting begins at 1PM
  • Traditional cultural activities & lunch provided
  • All are welcome – Bring friends & family! 
  • Wear your Bears Ears t-shirt!
  • More info & RSVP at protectbearsears.org/meeting
  • Need help with getting there? (385) 202 – 4954

 

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The Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture announced today that Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and USDA Undersecretary Robert Bonnie will host a public community hearing on the proposed Bears Ears National Monument on Saturday, July 16th, in Bluff, Utah.

 

The July 16th public hearing is an important opportunity for the Obama Administration to hear from local grassroots residents, Tribal leaders, and scholarly experts about the future of America’s most significant unprotected cultural landscape.

 

The invitation from the DOI Office of the Secretary describes the event as, “a public meeting regarding community visions for the management of Southern Utah’s public lands, including Congressman Bishop and Chaffetz’s Public Lands Initiative and the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition’s proposal to designate a new national monument. Members of the public are invited to attend and comment.”

 

The proposed 1.9 million acre Bears Ears National Monument is home to more than 100,000 archaeological sites, which have been the target of looting and vandalism in recent years, including half a dozen such cases in 2016 alone. Bears Ears is also critical to Native American communities today, who utilize the region for traditional resource collection and ceremonial purposes. Under the framework set forth in the Bears Ears National Monument proposal, five Tribes – Hopi, Ute Mountain Ute, Navajo, Uintah Ouray Ute, and Zuni – would co-manage Bears Ears to ensure cultural sites and uses are honored and upheld.

 

Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, Ute Mountain Ute Councilwoman and Co-Chair of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, remarked on the announcement, “Our five Tribes are very glad that Secretary Sally Jewell and Undersecretary Robert Bonnie have scheduled their visit Utah to meet with local grassroots Native Americans who live adjacent to Bears Ears. With overwhelming unity, our tribal members are asking President Obama to act to protect our ancestral homelands.”

 

UDB Chairman Willie Grayeyes expressed, “This is a very important moment in the Bears Ears National Monument initiative, which Utah Diné Bikéyah has been working on for over six years. We look forward to welcoming Secretary Jewell and Undersecretary Bonnie to Bears Ears and having them listen to all the Native people who are calling for healing through designation of Bears Ears National Monument. Really, it is surprising how little disagreement there is over Bears Ears. What we know is that everyone cares deeply about this landscape and we all agree the rich cultural resources deserve protection. It is merely a question of who can get the job done before it is too late?”

 

All are welcome to attend the public hearing at the Bluff Community Center in Bluff, UT, on Saturday, July 16, at 1PM.

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