Via a CREDO* Action email this morning:
Nearly 1.9 million acres of unprotected, culturally important Native American land in Utah known as Bears Ears have been looted and vandalized for years. Artifacts have been desecrated and stolen – and human remains have even been disturbed.1
While the area is owned by the federal government, only two law enforcement officers patrol this vast swath of land.2
President Obama can easily protect these vulnerable sites by designating Bears Ears a national monument, which would provide the government the resources it needs to protect this land. With more than 100,000 Native American cultural sites at Bears Ears, the Obama Administration must take immediate action to protect Bears Ears before even more damage is done.
The movement to protect Bears Ears has overwhelming support. 71% of Utah residents support the creation of a national monument,3 and more than 700 archaeologists4 and a coalition of tribes, including the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Ute Mountain Ute, and Uintah & Ouray Ute, have called on the president to designate the land at Bears Ears a monument.5
However, Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch and other anti-conservation, right-wing extremists in Congress are using Bears Ears as their latest example of so-called “federal overreach” of public lands by the Obama Administration.6 This is the same reasoning Cliven Bundy and his extreme, gun-toting supporters have recently used to justify their armed clashes with federal authorities, and threats of an “armed insurrection” over Bears Ears have been reported.7
In the face of the destruction of sacred Native American sites and the desecration of ancient human remains, it’s unconscionable that right-wing extremists want to play politics instead of protecting such an important place.
Before any more Native American sites are destroyed at Bears Ears, the Obama Administration must act to permanently protect this sacred land from further looting and vandalism.
Thanks for all you do.
- Jenny Rowland, “Bears Ears Cultural Area: The Most Vulnerable U.S. Site for Looting, Vandalism, and Grave Robbing,” Center for American Progress, June 13, 2016
- “Bears Ears deserves national monument designation,” Washington Post, June 8, 2016
- Brian Maffly, “New survey finds 71 percent support Bears Ears monument in Utah,” The Salt Lake Tribune, May 17, 2016
- Ginger Perales, Hundreds of Archaeologists Sign on to Protect Bears Ears,” New Historian, June 20, 2016
- Anne Minard, “Tribes Ask President Obama to Designate Bears Ears as National Monument,” Indian Country Today, October 15, 2015
- Orrin Hatch, “Hatch: A Bears Ears monument would be federal overreach,” The Salt Lake Tribune, June 12, 2016
- Judith Eilperin, “A major Native American site is being looted. Will Obama risk armed confrontation to save it?,” Washington Post, June 5, 2016
The petition to President Obama reads:
“The nearly 1.9 million acres at Bears Ears contain over 100,000 culturally important Native American sites but are mostly unprotected and have been subject to repeated vandalism and looting. Designate Bears Ears a national monument to protect this land for good.”
I am not normally optimistic about clicktivism accomplishing much of anything, but on rare occasions it does so. And in any event it certainly cannot hurt. Please sign and share the petition.
Thank you, and have a nice day.
*If you aren’t already a CREDO mobile customer, maybe you should be?