November 28, 2016
President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As leaders, members and representatives of the undersigned organizations committed to efforts that support our communities’ health, economic advancement, safety and well-being, and the concerned communities whom we represent, we strongly urge you to permanently protect the Bears Ears cultural landscape in
southeast Utah as a national monument under the power granted to you by the Antiquities Act of 1906. We also continue to support the designation of the Grand Canyon as a National Monument.
Support for a Bears Ears National Monument has been strong from the public, Native American Tribes and groups, tourism officials, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts, demonstrating the broad appeal and importance that this area holds for so many. This protection will help address the immediate threat facing Bears Ears from vandalism, looting, and grave robbing of irreplaceable cultural resources, oil and gas leasing and uranium mining, as well as unmanaged recreation and a lack of law enforcement.
The Grand Canyon likewise remains under threat due to uranium mining in the area. Protecting these areas from mining, protecting the watershed, the rich cultural heritage, and ensuring tribal access to ancient sacred Native American sites will honor the history of these wondrous places and preserve them for generations to come.
We applaud your establishment of some 23 new monuments and the expansion of others. Your legacy now includes monuments that honor Latino, African American, and LGBTQI heritage - ensuring these reflect the stories of millions of Americans with one notable exception: our Native American brothers and sisters.
Given the sacredness of the Bears Ears cultural landscape to the nations and tribes that hold ties to the area, and the outstanding historic, archeological, paleontological, ecological, cultural, geological, and recreational values of the area, we urge you to designate a Bears Ears National Monument as well as provide for its
collaborative management with representation from the tribes that comprise the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition (BEITC).
When considering the awe-inspiring values of the Bears Ears and Grand Canyon landscapes and the immediacy of the threats there, it is clear that permanent protection cannot wait. We urge you to use your authority under the Antiquities Act to establish a Bears Ears National Monument and collaborative management with the tribes comprising the BEITC. We urge you as well to establish the Grand Canyon National Monument. Together, these monuments will cement your legacy on public lands for all time.
Americas For Conservation + The Arts ALEF
Green for All
Hispanic Access Foundation
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Mujeres de la Tierra