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Zinke’s recommendation is at Trump’s behest: “Presidential Executive Order on the Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act, EXECUTIVE ORDER“, April 26, 2017. There are other National Monuments on the chopping block. Comment Deadline for them is July 10th: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

The current Bears Ears National Monument already cut out a large chunk of the proposed monument – 30% – apparently to pacify uranium mining interests. As the saying goes “give them and inch and they’ll take a mile“. And, so, the Trump adminstration wants to shrink the monument even further and undermine protections in what is left, presumably to pacify the oil and gas, and mining industries. Trump is proof that there is bad and worse. And of the importance of voting the lesser of two evils.

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/

Statement from Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, a partnership of the Hopi, Navajo, Uintah & Ouray Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni Governments:

Monument Valley, Utah (June 12, 2017) – In an unprecedented and illegal move, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended that President Trump shrink the Bears Ears National Monument and have Congress undermine protections in the remaining areas.

The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, which includes five sovereign Native nations, issued the following statement:

“For us, Bears Ears is a homeland. It always has been and still is. The radical idea of breaking up Bears Ears National Monument is a slap in the face to the members of our Tribes and an affront to Indian people all across the country. Any attempt to eliminate or reduce the boundaries of this Monument would be wrong on every count. Such action would be illegal, beyond the reach of presidential authority.

“The Bears Ears region is not a series of isolated objects, but the object itself, a connected, living landscape, where the place, not a collection of items, must be protected. You cannot reduce the size without harming the whole.  Bears Ears is too precious a place, and our cultures and values too dignified and worthy, to backtrack on the promises made in the Presidential Proclamation.

“The Presidential Proclamation of December 28, 2016 reflects the extensive public outreach and coordination that went into the creation of the Bears Ears National Monument.

The national monument designation is already 30% smaller than the recommendation from the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition. Every part of the Monument holds “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic and scientific interest” as called for by the Antiquities Act.

“Leaving the Monument fully intact is also the correct result as a matter of right and wrong. The wonderful Bears Ears National Monument is a gift to the citizens of the United States and the world. Once experienced, the physical beauty of the red-rock terrain and the cultural power of the Old People stay with visitors forever. As for us, we personally have received a great gift also, but most of all we think of our ancestors. They gave us everything we have and this Monument honors them, their wisdom, and their way of life. As President Theodore Roosevelt said in proclaiming the 800,000-acre Grand Canyon National Monument under the Antiquities Act, “Leave it just as it is. You cannot improve upon it.”

On December 28, 2016, after years of consultation, planning and direct engagement with his Administration, the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah was designated under the Antiquities Act. It was the first ever national monument to be protected at the behest of sovereign Tribal Nations.
The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition is a partnership of the Hopi, Navajo, Uintah & Ouray Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni Governments
“. http://bearsearscoalition.org/
Emphasis our own. Read the original here: http://bearsearscoalition.org/bears-ears-inter-tribal-coalition-condemns-zinke-recommendation-to-eviscerate-bears-ears-national-monument/

Excerpted from Bears Ears Coalition threats:
Oil and gas companies are pushing for new leases in the Bears Ears region, particularly on Cedar Mesa and Tank Mesa … The Utah legislature recently passed legislation calling for an energy zone that covers much of the Bears Ears…. In Lockhart Basin and on Hatch Point and Harts Point in the northern reaches of the Bears Ears region, breathtaking landscapes once slated for inclusion in Canyonlands National Park face contemporary threats from oil and gas drilling and potash mining… Uranium was once mined here too in great quantities,…. Small but significant deposits of tar sands exist here too, buried deep under the spectacular scenery of White Canyon…https://bearsearscoalition.org/threats/

Uranium mining continues in the area: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/bear-ears-monument-partial-win-is-canadian-energy-fuels-uranium-mine-included-or-excluded/