Tell Pres. Biden: Restore Bears Ears to its original size.
The petition to President Biden reads: “Restore Bears Ears National Monument to its original size and status.”
Bears Ears didn't need the designation of National Monument to be considered incredible. The stunning cylindrical cones that jut up from the red Utah desert into the blue sky had been revered by the area's native people for millennia. But in 2016, a group of activists, led by the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, convinced the Obama administration to give the sacred area the status it deserved as it became the newest national monument.
It's more than 100,000 archaeological and cultural sites as well as its wealth of environmental and paleontological value, were now protected by federal law, and it would remain public and free of exploitation. At least, that was the plan. The celebration of Bears Ears' historic designation was short-lived as months later, under the Trump administration, nearly 85% of the monument's original size was carved out and made available to drilling and mining concerns.
Under a new president, Bears Ears deserves a new start. Tell Biden to restore Bears Ears to its original size and status.
The clawback was illegal. The 1906 Antiquities Act gave the president the right to protect unique cultural sites and wild habitats as national monuments, but there's no mechanism for a future president to reverse it. Nevertheless, they did. Trump's land grab of Bears Ears was the largest stripping of public land protections in our nation's history and a slap in the face to the Navajo, Ute, and Hopi people and other activists who had fought for years to get the designation.
If Trump's rollback is allowed to stand, no national monument is safe. What is to stop the next anti-environmental, pro-drilling president from carving up our other natural wonders for profit and exploitation?
This cannot stand. All of Bears Ears deserves the protections of its original designation. We must protect our natural and cultural heritage. Sign our petition to demand Biden protect Bears Ears now.