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Final Plans Will Decimate Land, Water, Wildlife in Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  By finalizing management plans for the tiny areas that replaced Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante, the Trump administration is ensuring the degradation and destruction of Native American historical and cultural artifacts, wildlife habitat, public lands and waters and public health throughout southern Utah.  

“To follow up the decimation of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments by allowing extractive development on the few remaining areas is an absolute tragedy. The only certainty the Bureau of Land Management has delivered by ignoring Tribal leaders and communities is what we will lose — in historical artifacts, sacred areas, and critical wildlife habitat and migration corridors,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “This wrong-headed decision must be reversed before sacred cultural resources and critical wildlife habitat are destroyed for future generations.” 

“The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition is united in opposition to the Administration’s Monument Management Plan,” said Shaun Chapoose, Ute Tribal Business Committee member and Coalition Co-Chair. “This is just another in a series of unlawful actions reducing and revoking the Bears Ears National Monument. The President’s action and this management plan eliminates protections for more than 1 million acres including hundreds of thousands of priceless and significant cultural, natural and sacred objects. The Administration is failing in its treaty and trust responsibilities to Indian tribes.”

“The Trump administration’s effort to preempt any adverse ruling by prematurely finalizing the land management planning process for the illegally declared Shash Jaa and Indian Creek units, unequivocally demonstrates a complete disregard for Native American concerns and blatant disrespect for the cultural landscape protections the Tribes have sought,” said Clark Tenakhongva, Vice Chairman of the Hopi Tribe and Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition leader. 

In 2017, President Trump reduced the size of Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly 47 percent.  It was the largest rollback of protections on public land in our nation’s history. 

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