Statement by the President on the Designation of Bears Ears National Monument and Gold Butte National Monument

Published December 29, 2016

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, President Barack Obama gained more respect of tribal nations by designating Bears Ears and Golden Butte as national monuments. The White House released the following comments by President Obama shortly after his action:

President Obama at White House Tribal Nation conference in September. Native News Online photo by Levi Rickert

Today, I am designating two new national monuments in the desert landscapes of southeastern Utah and southern Nevada to protect some of our country’s most important cultural treasures, including abundant rock art, archeological sites, and lands considered sacred by Native American tribes.  Today’s actions will help protect this cultural legacy and will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy and appreciate these scenic and historic landscapes. Importantly, today I have also established a Bears Ears Commission to ensure that tribal expertise and traditional knowledge help inform the management of the Bears Ears National Monument and help us to best care for its remarkable national treasures.

Following years of public input and various proposals to protect both of these areas, including legislation and a proposal from tribal governments in and around Utah, these monuments will protect places that a wide range of stakeholders all agree are worthy of protection. We also have worked to ensure that tribes and local communities can continue to access and benefit from these lands for generations to come. 


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