Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Bears Ears & Grand Staircase Escalante restored - suggest a thank you letter
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PostSun Oct 10, 2021 1:15 pm 
Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior has re-instated the boundaries for both of these National Monuments. Bears Ears was originally negotiated with native peoples.

Please write a thank you to Secretary Haaland

https://www.doi.gov/contact-us

neek  rubywrangler
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PostSun Oct 10, 2021 2:03 pm 
Did you really think a bunch of jackasses from the oil industry were going to outsmart them?

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PostSun Oct 10, 2021 2:09 pm 
Sec. Haaland recommended it in a report (not made public) to the president.
Actual boundary restoration was by executive order of the president.

When President Obama first created the monument of Bears Ears, I decided to go to the area and talk to people (not politicians). A number were concerned that such a national focus would only bring more traffic, and indeed, road improvements and an info center went in almost immediately. There was a belief that decisions concerning land curated by locals for centuries would be taken out of their hands. Environmental effects were of medium-level concern; a desire for protection against mining cos. was low (more than one interlocutor believed that the major cos. had already scrutinized the area and decided extractive mining would not be profitable).

It was an interesting trip among hardy, serene landscapes. The Bears Ears prominences were used in days past, when the whole area was bustling and trade routes extended into what is now Mexico, as landmarks on the horizon for orientation. I went high up one road, an old thoroughfare, with a guide and looked south, to Monument Valley, west to Bears Ears, and elsewhere, seeing other distinctive prominences. The place is rife with artifacts of a long, lived history, on the ground and rising over the horizon.

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PostSun Oct 10, 2021 2:36 pm 
Songs2 wrote:
Sec. Haaland recommended it in a report (not made public) to the president.
Actual boundary restoration was by executive order of the president.

When President Obama first created the monument of Bears Ears, I decided to go to the area and talk to people (not politicians). A number were concerned that such a national focus would only bring more traffic, and indeed, road improvements and an info center went in almost immediately. There was a belief that decisions concerning land curated by locals for centuries would be taken out of their hands. Environmental effects were of medium-level concern; a desire for protection against mining cos. was low (more than one interlocutor believed that the major cos. had already scrutinized the area and decided extractive mining would not be profitable).

It was an interesting trip among hardy, serene landscapes. The Bears Ears prominences were used in days past, when the whole area was bustling and trade routes extended into what is now Mexico, as landmarks on the horizon for orientation. I went high up one road, an old thoroughfare, with a guide and looked south, to Monument Valley, west to Bears Ears, and elsewhere, seeing other distinctive prominences. The place is rife with artifacts of a long, lived history, on the ground and rising over the horizon.

I had the good fortune to visit some of these areas with a friend whose brother worked on Mayan culture in Central America. My friend helped his brother and showed me a "Toolshop" with set-up corn grinding stations, two painted gourds, a water olja, a baby's cradle basket and headboard, a corrugated pot repaired with pitch, a bundle of arrow shafts, and what C.D. described as gaming pieces from his helping in C.A. C.D. also showed me a pot that was hidden under a small roof, and he and I found a burial opposite a small dwelling, and backed away. I have only photographs.

As to how native people feel; Deb Haaland is Zuni.

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PostSun Oct 10, 2021 3:29 pm 
It is a wonderful area. The cultural artifacts have not been removed like they have from the parks. The midden piles are still full of thousand year old corn cops and pot shards and mutates still in place. You can just wander the canyons and find unnamed (except to First Nations people)  ruins The pueblos people still have memories of them. Most of the people in Utah we met who do not work in extractive industries or politicians we met wanted this to occur. Hopefully funding will be provided to protect this heritage. It is amazing how much was done with so little by the ancestors.

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PostSun Oct 10, 2021 3:48 pm 
I had the chance to spend five days in Bears Ears in the past month. It whetted my appetite to go back soon.

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PostSun Oct 10, 2021 5:47 pm 
It is an extraordinary place and warrants protection, as does all of Cedar Mesa.
The question may be, how best to do so.

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PostTue Oct 12, 2021 2:40 pm 
Ski wrote:
in the case of Bears Ears... the tribes have way better talent on their side (legally) than any of the "opposition" could ever hope to muster....

I don't think many would disagree with that. Tribes have top notch attorneys representing them as they have unique standing to bring environmental law suits against state and federal governments. So representing the tribes is a dream job for many environmental lawyers.

Anne Elk
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PostWed Oct 13, 2021 9:16 am 
Seattle Times editorial board chiming in:

Biden’s rescue of national monuments a good first step

Quote:
America’s irreplaceable natural treasures got a well-deserved reprieve from peril when President Joe Biden restored protections Friday for three national monuments. But Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, along with the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the Atlantic coast, deserve even stronger protections.

Former President Donald Trump’s cuts to protection of the Utah monuments in 2017 and the ocean area in 2020 showed how vulnerable national monuments can be to executive whims. Trump stripped away conservation designations on more than 2 million acres of land in Utah alone, plus nearly 5,000 square miles of Atlantic Ocean off New England.

Had Biden not reversed these wrongheaded moves, the Utah lands sacred to Native American tribes and sea canyons that nurture endangered species could have faced destructive incursions for profit. In the ocean, that’s commercial fishing that can harm the whale and turtle species that live in this habitat and few other places. In Utah, that’s any sort of commercial development — potentially, fossil fuel excavation — encroaching upon artifact-rich plateaus and juniper forests.

...

Biden should do more to insulate Bears Ears particularly from future threats. His administration should take up a request by preservation advocates to grant Native tribes true comanagement authority over Bears Ears, which has frequently been plagued by artifact theft. Five recognized Native tribes consider this land not just beautiful, but hallowed ground. This connection must be better respected.

The federal Antiquities Act of 1906 is overdue a clarification that its power for a president to designate a monument cannot be reversed by a later president acting alone. That can come from courts — as Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., have joined others to request — or by a Congressional tweak of the existing law to clarify that this preservation power is not a two-way street.

Congress should also consider designating these monuments as national parks, which would give them a status no president could roll back. Precedent for such a move exists in our backyard. Olympic National Park was originally protected as a national monument in 1908 by President Teddy Roosevelt, then reduced drastically by President Woodrow Wilson in 1915 to allow wartime logging. Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt re-enlarged the protected area and designated it a national park in 1938.


https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/bidens-rescue-of-national-monuments-a-good-first-step/

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PostWed Oct 13, 2021 12:41 pm 
The AP filer of House on Fire is just sad, taken a couple hours past optimal time, from the wrong direction.


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Songs2
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PostWed Oct 13, 2021 4:06 pm 
Gil,
Your photo is House on Fire in Mule Canyon, yes?

The AP file photo does not appear to be of the same structure. I believe the caption is incorrect.

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PostWed Oct 13, 2021 9:53 pm 
No, the AP photo is of that complex, just looking to the left of the part that my photo shows.

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PostFri Oct 22, 2021 9:01 am 
Pardon my ignorance. But was this village and artifacts taken out of protection by the Trump administration, or were they left protected?

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PostFri Oct 22, 2021 9:49 am 
I am fairly certain that while Trump shrank the size of Bears Ear National Monument, even the reduced size included the House of Fire. You can read Trump's proclamation at the link below and on page 3 of that proclamation it references the House of Fire.

https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/DCPD-201700880

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