Bears Ears landscape, Southern Utah
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Robert Bonnie held a public meeting in Bluff, Utah, on July 16 regarding community visions for the management of Southern Utah’s public lands, including the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition’s proposal to designate a new national monument. The Wilderness Society is supportive of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition’s proposal and welcomed the meeting.
The following statement is from Matt Keller, National Monuments Campaign Director for The Wilderness Society:
“It is not only the amazing scenery, inspiring recreational opportunities, sensitive wildlife, and nationally-significant scientific resources that make the Bears Ears Region worthy of protection. For nearly a century, Native American tribes and others have been calling for the protection of Bears Ears to preserve the history embedded in the land and waters in southeastern Utah. From thousands of cultural artifacts to native dwellings, these lands tell a story of generations that came long before us. The Obama administration’s attention and thoughtfulness will help to ensure that these stories can be retold on the very same lands for years to come.
Secretary Jewell and Under Secretary Bonnie will continue to hear about the broad public support for protecting Bears Ears, but nothing could be more important and appreciated than the time they and their agency colleagues are providing for public input in Bluff. Through this dialogue the administration will have an opportunity to hear about the challenges the region faces and why there is an urgency for protecting the incredible lands that are threatened by looting, vandalism and mis-use. Nothing could be more important than bringing together broad interests to find a solution for the future of Bears Ears. We thank the Obama administration for committing to a public and transparent process and encourage the President to designate a National Monument for this culturally significant landscape.”