Keep the Bears Ears Monument!
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Elected officials are attempting something that has never been done since the creation of the Antiquities Act of 1906, an act that was created by a Republican Congress and signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt. Chaffetz along with Utah's representatives are demanding the White House completely rescind a designation by executive action on a national monument.
The Bears Ears Monument covers 1.35 million acres in San Juan County and honors Tribal Nations with ancestral ties. The Hopi, Navajo, Ute Mountain Ute, Ute and Pueblo of Zuni — joined together in support of protecting this region, which is home to some of the most culturally significant landscape in the country. The area is renowned for tens of thousands of archaeological sites, mostly remnants of the ancestral Puebloan culture, who inhabited this landscape for at least 2,000 years. Many of them have suffered from illegal pothunting, vandalism and artifact collecting. The Designation will bring the resources needed to enforce existing laws, shore up regulations, educate the public about the importance of these beautiful cultural resources and protects clean water and wildlife habitat.
Prior to the Bears Ears designation, the Utah legislature drafted and passed a resolution declaring that the “highest and best Use” of Cedar Mesa was energy development.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz is urging top Trump administration officials to overturn former President Obama’s designation. Despite our elected official’s statements to the contrary, the majority of Utahns support the Monument as well as the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition is united in their support of this sacred land.
Bears Ears will be an important contributor to Utah’s $12 billion outdoor recreation economy, which drives $856 million in state and local tax revenue and $3.6 billion in wages and salaries yearly and supports 122,000 direct Utah jobs. The most recent National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service showed that fishing in Utah accounts for over $451 million in yearly spending alone.
The new monument would also have great potential to spur economic growth in the Bluff and surrounding areas. A recent study from Headwaters Economics assessing the economic performance of counties adjacent to and containing national monuments — including Utah's own Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument west of the Bears Ears area — found that two-thirds of these communities (13 of 17) grew at the same or a faster pace compared to similar counties in their state.
As your constituents, we urge you to not move forward with your effort to overturn the designation of the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah.
Utah lands are not for sale!
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