Send a Message to Restore Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante
Congress can stop the Trump administration’s drive to drill, mine, log and develop national monument lands like Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante for private profit. Urge lawmakers to stand up to keep our public lands in public hands.
The Beauty of Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante
Bears Ears contains thousands of archaeological sites that detail centuries of human history. You can also find 200-million-year-old dinosaur fossils here. And black bears, mountain lions and other sensitive wildlife still make their home in these largely undisturbed lands.1
At Grand Staircase-Escalante, you can find other wonders. You can see colorful vistas, irreplaceable cultural artifacts and a dazzling array of wildlife, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons.2
Special Places at Risk
Unfortunately, late last year the Trump administration announced a plan to shrink Bears Ears by more than 85 percent and Grand Staircase by roughly half. Now officials are moving full-steam ahead to begin exploiting these special places — even as the Trump administration’s authority to alter national monuments is challenged in court.3
The Bureau of Land Management has released its preferred management plans for the ecologically sensitive, culturally vital and beautiful lands that were — until late last year — protected as part of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah.
Unfortunately, these new plans would allow more destructive mining (including for uranium), oil and gas drilling, logging and other private development on more than one million acres within the former boundaries of the monuments.4
How You Can Help
The good news? Public lands advocates in both the US House and Senate have introduced the ANTIQUITIES Act of 2018. This special legislation would:
- Expand protection for the Bears Ears National Monument to over 1.9 million acres, directing that it be composed of the lands identified in the Bears Ears Tribal Coalition’s original proposal.
- Clarify that only Congress — and not the President or Executive Branch — can alter existing national monuments, effectively nullifying the administration’s proposed changes to Grand Staircase-Escalante, Bears Ears and other national monuments.
- Designate over 249,000 acres of federal public lands in New Mexico as wilderness and add over 111,000 acres of wilderness in southern Nevada, building on the monument protections in these states. 5,6
We owe it to future generations and to the memories of those who came before us to safeguard these special places. Will you speak out to help turn the tide for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante?
1. Carolyn Gramling, “Science and politics collide over Bears Ears and other national monuments,” Science, April 27, 2017.
2. President William Jefferson Clinton, “Proclamation 6920 – Establishment of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument,” September 18, 1996. Retrieved online from the US Government Printing Office August 17, 2018.
3. Brady McCombs, “Federal agency issues proposals for downsized Utah monuments,” Associated Press, August 15, 2018.
4. Jesse Prentice-Dunn, “Trump administration to industry: Come mine and drill our national monuments,” Westwise on Medium: Public Lands and Energy News from the Center for Western Priorities, August 15, 2018.
5. Senate Staff, “Summary of S. 2354, ‘The ANTIQUITIES Act of 2018’,” Office of US Senator Tom Udall, Retrieved online August 17, 2018.
6. Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, et al, “H.R.6410 – ANTIQUITIES Act of 2018,” Congress.gov, retrieved online August 17, 2018.