TAKE ACTION: URGE THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (BLM) TO PROTECT BEARS EARS AND GRAND STAIRCASE-ESCALANTE!
On Dec. 4, 2017, President Donald Trump signed proclamations significantly reducing the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments in southern Utah’s world-renowned, panoramic canyon country. Not only were the monuments diminished in size, they were also fragmented into discontinuous units.
President Trump’s actions under the Antiquities Act to reduce the size of these two monuments are being challenged in federal court by Native American tribes, nonprofit organizations, and a business. The courts have yet to determine whether the Antiquities Act allows a president to significantly reduce the size of previously created national monuments. Despite active litigation, the BLM is crafting land use plans for both the new smaller monuments and a separate land use plan for the public lands that were removed by the Trump proclamations from Grand Staircase-Escalante.
These new management plans will guide how lands inside and outside of the new monument boundaries are managed until the courts make further determinations. In particular, the lands cut out of the new, diminished Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are vulnerable to threats from coal mining, oil and gas drilling, and other developments. While the courts may ultimately determine the fate of these monuments and public lands, it is important to participate in this process, both to register your disapproval of these actions and to voice your opinion on the values that these lands contain and how they should be managed.
SEND YOUR COMMENT TO THE BLM NOW!
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was designated in 1996 to preserve important scientific, historic, and cultural values, including world-class paleontological resources. Since then, more than two dozen new dinosaur species have been among the many scientific discoveries on lands within the original monument boundaries. The Grand Staircase-Escalante’s spectacular scenery and outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation have drawn visitors from around the world, providing an economic boost to nearby rural communities. Many extraordinary places lie outside of President Trump’s monument boundaries, including significant parts of the Kaiparowits Plateau, Paria Canyon, Circle Cliffs, and the Hole in the Rock Road corridor. These lands are the most vulnerable to development, and must be managed to ensure conservation of their unique geologic, cultural, and ecological values.
The Bears Ears National Monument was designated in 2016 to safeguard one of the most significant cultural areas in the United States and to honor tribal nations that have ancestral connections to the region. The original boundaries contain more than 100,000 cultural sites, scientific wonders, a wide range of biodiversity, and world-class opportunities for outdoor recreation. This important monument was reduced in size by more than 80 percent by President Trump’s proclamation.
Your voice is critical to this effort. Please submit a public comment today!