Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, July 16, 2016

Contact: Katie Davis, (801) 560-2414,

Conservationists, Tribes Call on Obama Administration to Support Bear’s Ears National Monument

Hearing Comes as Demand Grows for President Obama to Protect Tribal,
Public Lands Heritage Before Leaving Office

BLUFF, Utah— The Center for Biological Diversity has joined the tribal communities of southern Utah in asking for permanent protection of the Bear’s Ears area during today’s visit to Bluff, Utah by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and USDA Undersecretary Robert Bonnie. Hundreds of supporters from across the region are expected to attend the public hearing to express overwhelming support for the designation of Bear’s Ears National Monument.

Today’s public hearing comes as congressmen Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduce legislation in the House — legislation that has been roundly denounced by conservation and native communities — designed to appease supporters of the proposed national monument designation. Calls for President Obama to take executive action to protect Bear’s Ears have been mounting amidst reports of rampant and ongoing grave robbing, destruction of ancient artwork and looting of archaeological sites. The area is also threatened by destructive land uses, such as oil and gas development, mining and unsustainable off-road vehicle use.

“We thank Secretary Jewell and Undersecretary Bonnie for taking the time to come and hear directly from the local community in Utah about why action is necessary to preserve this place of immense cultural and ecological importance,” said Katie Davis, public lands campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “For every person at this hearing supporting the Bear’s Ears proposal, there are thousands more across the country looking to the president to be a leader in protecting this national treasure.”

The request for the 1.9-million-acre national monument designation is supported by all the tribal governments in the region, local grassroots Navajo and Ute people and the vast majority of the citizens of Utah. Recent polling showed that 71 percent of Utahns support a Bears Ears National Monument.

The Center remains committed to working toward permanent protection of large, public landscapes across the West from extraction and development and supporting tribal-led efforts to preserve areas of cultural importance. In addition to working to secure designation of Bear’s Ears National Monument, the Center supports the campaign for the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. Together these proposals would bolster President Obama’s conservation legacy by linking protected, public wild spaces across the Colorado Plateau for the benefit of wildlife and future generations.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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