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The comment deadline for “Review of Certain National Monuments Established Since 1996; Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment” is July 10th. However, further down the page it says “To ensure consideration, written comments relating to the Bears Ears National Monument must be submitted before May 26, 2017. Written comments relating to all other National Monuments must be submitted before July 10, 2017.https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

The Bear Ears National Monument was already a compromise. A huge chunk of the original proposal was excluded, as can be seen on the map at the bottom of this post, apparently – at least in part – to protect Canadian miner Energy Fuels’ Daneros uranium mining expansion.

Their biggest shareholder and uranium customer is South Korea: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1385849/000106299313005863/exhibit99-108.htm

Under the 1872 mining law, the miner doesn’t pay royalties for hardrock minerals, such as uranium: https://www.earthworksaction.org/issues/detail/general_mining_law_of_1872#.WT0zjbFOmfA

Excerpted from AmericanProgress.org: “American Treasure at Risk: How Bears Ears National Monument Stacks up to U.S. National Parks” By Jenny Rowland Posted on April 5, 2017:

Why special interests want Bears Ears gone

With Bears Ears’ superior status for conservation and unprecedented tribal support [1], the motivation of monument opponents’ to recall its protected status deserves greater scrutiny.

On the surface, opponents of the monument claim the designation is an example of “federal overreach,” but the CAP and CSP analysis finds that what’s below the monument’s surface might hold the real reason. When compared with similarly sized landscapes in the West, Bears Ears scored in the 69th percentile for mineral resources—primarily uranium—and in the 54th percentile for oil and gas. Without protection, Bears Ears’ vulnerability to destructive mining and oil and gas development is high.

If not for the bold steps that protected national parks for future generations, even the Grand Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, or Yosemite may have been sold to special interests. Mining prospectors and others opposed [2] protecting the Grand Canyon when it was first designated a national monument in 1908; today, uranium mining occurs just miles from the Grand Canyon and pollutes the water within the national park. And before Canyonlands became a national park in 1964, the oil industry, along with Utah Gov. George Clyde (R) and Sen. Wallace Bennett (R), opposed its protection for fear that it would harm mineral and oil extraction. Today, there are 950 mining [3] claims within five miles of the boundaries of Canyonlands and Arches national parks. Similarly, 120 mining claims can be found within five miles of Yosemite.


The confluence of Bears Ears’ superior ecological status and wealth of uranium and other natural deposits makes its protection as a national monument even more critical. Efforts by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, President Donald Trump,  and Utah politicians to get rid of protections for the area should be seen for what they are: a sell-out of our national heritage to special interests.

Bears Ears National Monument is among the ranks of some of the country’s most iconic national parks and is deserving of the same esteem and protection as Yellowstone, Yosemite, or the Grand Canyon. Secretary Zinke should appreciate what his idol Teddy Roosevelt said of these places: “our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.” “This article-excerpt-image were created by the Center for American Progress (www.americanprogress.org).Read the entire article, which lays out why Bear Ears should be protected and how it compares to National Parks here: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2017/04/05/429667/american-treasure-risk-bears-ears-national-monument-stacks-u-s-national-parks/
Some references from the article; more at original:
[1] http://bearsearscoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/BearsEarsCommission_LettertoZinke_March17.pdf
[2] http://westernpriorities.org/special/2016/monuments/
[3] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/01/27/hatch-trump-is-eager-to-work-with-gop-lawmakers-to-undo-sacred-tribal-monument/
[4] http://www.npr.org/2017/02/05/513492389/utah-representative-wants-bears-ears-gone-and-he-wants-trump-to-do-it
[5] https://www.nps.gov/thro/learn/historyculture/theodore-roosevelt-quotes.htm

The original Intertribal Coalition proposal for the Bears Ears Monument is to the far right. The BLM probably put them in that order to make people think that it grew, when it shrank in size. Both Republican Congressman Rob Bishop (middle map) and President Obama (far left) chewed off huge parts of Bear Ears Monument (i.e. protection). Why? The Canadian Miner Energy Fuels’ Daneros uranium mine site area appears to have been excluded from protection. Related: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/bear-ears-monument-partial-win-is-canadian-energy-fuels-uranium-mine-included-or-excluded/

The Energy Fuels uranium is probably intended for S. Korea, since a representative of Korean Electric (KEPCO) HYUNG MUN BAE is on the board of Energy Fuels. As of 2013, Korea’s KEPCO was the largest shareholder of Energy Fuels and an affiliate of KEPCO was Energy Fuels largest uranium customer: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1385849/000106299313005863/exhibit99-108.htm.


However, more recently:
South Korea plans energy U-turn away from coal, nuclear
Posted:Sun, 04 Jun 2017 04:54:53 -0400
SEOUL (Reuters) – A proposed energy U-turn by South Korea’s new government would put the environment at the center of energy policy, shifting one of the world’s staunchest supporters of coal and nuclear power toward natural gas and renewables.

Interior Secretary to make proposal on Bears Ears monument in test for protected land
Posted:Sat, 10 Jun 2017 09:10:03 -0400
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is due to make a recommendation to the White House on Saturday on whether to rescind or resize Utah’s Bears Ears monument, setting the tone for the administration’s broader study of which lands protected by past presidents should be reopened to development.