In a move that will certainly cement his place in the pantheon of Worst Presidents of All Time, Donald J. Trump moved unilaterally this week to remove protections and shrink the boundaries of this beautiful, natural expanse of Southeastern Utah. Justifications aside, we all know this was done as a callous and jealous move to undo the designation of his predecessor, Barack Obama. An evil and ugly testament to his ego, Trump wanted to undo the ‘wins’ of a President who he so clearly hates, and hand the mining industry a greater ability to extract minerals. What exactly is Bear’s Ears National Monument, and why does it matter? Well, if you’ve ever been to Utah, you’ve realized just how special the natural beauty is. Southeastern Utah is home to vast expanses of land that holds great significance for Native Americans, specifically the Navajo Nation, Hopi, Ute Mountain Ute, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and the Pueblo of Zuni. The result is a land that stands vulnerable to greedy developers, harmful off-road recreation, and a general worsening of America’s legacy and history. A shameful, low-point in a year full of gut punches from a truly maniacal and awful administration. Visit this land while you can, and while it still exists. Photos via NBC News and Patagonia.
With over 100,000 archaeological sites designated within the Bear’s Ears Monument, it’s clear that this beautiful land should be protected. And in 2016, that protection came in the form of a designation just below a national park, a monument that states the land cannot be sold or developed for commercial use.
This designation added to the Utah’s economy in the form of conservation and tourism dollars. And it kept precious resources intact for future generations to visit and enjoy.
Some vistas of Bear’s Ears’ 1,351,849 acres of (formerly) protected land.
Some of the over 100,000 ancient artifacts that dot this special land.