Published October 31, 2017
MOAB, UTAH – Last Friday, the Bears Ears Commission of Tribes met in Moab to continue the work of planning for the management of the Bears Ears National Monument.
“It’s appalling that on the very day that we are meeting with federal agencies to forward the management plan for Bears Ears, we learn that President Trump has pledged to illegally reduce the monument,” said Shaun Chapoose, Commission representative for Ute Indian Tribe. “Senator Hatch said that Secretary Zinke spoke with local Tribes. He didn’t speak with us, and he’s not working with us, despite being required by law to do so.”
Bears Ears Commission of Tribes is the legally mandated entity established to provide guidance and recommendations on the development and implementation of management of the monument.
“We are the people who have been charged with managing these lands, yet despite our request to meet with President Trump, we have not been contacted with regard to changes to Bears Ears,” stated Terry Knight, Co-Chair of the Bears Ears Commission of Tribes and representative of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. “Our responsibility is to move forward as collaborative managers of this sacred landscape and protect our heritage for all Americans. We will continue to work to manage the lands until we hear from a court that we should stop.”
“The recommendations to eliminate protections are very troubling to our tribal nations who worked for decades to protect these sacred lands,” said Carleton Bowekaty, Co-Chair of the Bears Ears Commission of Tribes and Commission representative for the Zuni Nation. “The proposed reduction in size would leave thousands of sites more vulnerable to vandalism, compromise the integrity of the landscape as a whole, and disrespect the unified voices of tribal nations that have consistently called for Bears Ears to be protected.”