Tribes Want ‘Immediate Action’ On Bears Ears National Monument

"A coalition of Native American tribes has called on President Biden to take “immediate action” to restore protections to Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument, which the Trump administration cut by 85 percent.

The letter, which was sent last week and was obtained by The Washington Post, warns that any more delay allows further degradation of sacred sites and former Indigenous settlements from mining, grazing, looting and other threats.

“We have tried to be patient and respectful as we await your decision on restoration. However, the longer action is not taken, real harm, much permanent, is occurring on this sacred landscape,” wrote Clark W. Tenakhongva, vice chairman of the Hopi Tribe, and Henry Stevens Jr., a representative of the Navajo Nation.

Tribal activists and conservationists have become increasingly frustrated that Biden, who campaigned on reversing President Donald Trump’s rollbacks of protections for national monuments, has not yet used his authority to restore their original boundaries. Trump shrank Bears Ears along with another national monument in southeastern Utah, Grand Staircase-Escalante."

Joshua Partlow reports for the Washington Post September 28, 2021.

Source: Washington Post, 09/30/2021