To the Editor,
When President Obama designated Bears Ears National Monument, it was to “preserve its cultural, prehistoric, and historic legacy…for the benefit of all Americans.” However, the Interior Department has selected 15 people, who are resolute monument foes, for the advisory committee that will provide guidance on the managing of the reduced Bears Ears National Monument.
It’s no secret that the Trump administration decision to cut the Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent was prompted primarily by the gas/oil/uranium interests. Leaked emails prove it.
And now, the public is to believe that fair management of the remaining 15 percent will be done. Missing on the panel are any who advocated for the original monument designation or who opposed Trump’s cut, which leaves out some of the most archaeologically and culturally sensitive areas.
One committee member, when speaking publicly before former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell about why there should not be any monument, stated that when “his ancestors came to southeast Utah, no one was living here.” Not only was that an incredibly ignorant statement, but typifies the racist attitude that local Native Americans face in San Juan County.
Shame on the Interior Department and on those involved in the advisory committee selection process.
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