Maps by Trump Administration Show Plans to Gut Bears Ears National Monument


 

Monument Valley, UT (November 30, 2017) Maps obtained today by the Native American Rights Fund show plans to drastically diminish Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Trump is expected to make his announcement about the future of both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah on Monday.
 
The following statements are from:
  
Russell Begaye, President of the Navajo Nation: 
“The establishment of the Bears Ears National Monument was a historic advancement for all five Native Nations (Navajo, Hopi, Ute, Ute Mountain, Zuni) who advocated for the monument. This was done with the overwhelming blessings of the local Utah Navajo and non-Indian community, as shown in a December 2014 local public comment process and the overwhelming local Utah Navajo Chapter votes. Now the federal government stands ready to ignore this overwhelming local support at the behest of a vocal minority of opponents. 
 
“At the very least, President Trump should have consulted with the original local governments of the Bears Ears region: our five Indian Nations. Instead, our many requests for consultation were ignored. An action to diminish the Bears Ears National Monument in any way will be an action against the Navajo Nation and the Navajo people who have worked so tirelessly to protect these lands. Just as the Navajo Nation fought for the creation of the Monument, the Nation now stands ready to defend the full 1.35 million acre-Monument.”
 
Natalie Landreth, Native American Rights Fund
“This map makes clear this decision is unprecedented, as it is a wholesale revocation of Bears Ears and replacement with two different monuments with different names and different boundaries.  The reason no President has done this before is because it is completely illegal.  Under the property clause in the Constitution, only Congress can revoke monument protection from federal lands, and certainly only Congress can do something as drastic as this. The idea that this is some sort of boundary modification, which would be equally as illegal, is a complete fiction. 
 
“At its core, this is an issue of tribal sovereignty, tribal self-determination.  The Five Tribes that advocated tirelessly to create this monument did so to protect their ancient and modern cultural and spiritual importance.  The fact that it is being revoked without any consultation, or even concern, for the Tribes is offensive.  What is worse is that the monument was created in large part to help stem the tide of widespread looting and grave robbing, which was the original purpose of the Antiquities Act, and removal of that protection leaves more than 60,000 known sites in danger. It’s disgraceful.”
 
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The Hopi, Navajo, Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni Tribal Governments are working together to defend Bears Ears National Monument. http://ProtectBearsEars.org/
 
 
Press Contacts: 
Katherine Belzowski, Navajo Nation Department of Justice, 734-646-2050, kbelzowski@nndoj.org
Natalie Landreth, Native American Rights Fund, 907-360-3423, landreth@narf.org
Matthew Campbell, Native American Rights Fund, 303-447-8760, mcampbell@narf.org
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Royalty-free photos for media use of areas cut from Bears Ears National Monument in the administration’s draft maps may be found here: https://goo.gl/L8t5HT
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