Bears Ears in the News: "Make It Monumental"

Comb Ridge and Mule's Ear

Past, present, and future converge in our latest Bears Ears news round-up. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Campaign promotes monuments that Trump slashed - High Country News
File under Delicious Irony: San Juan County has launched a splashy new campaign, “Make it Monumental,” which highlights the county’s spectacular public lands and the national monuments within its borders. This is the same county whose elected officials have loudly opposed the creation of Bears Ears National Monument and supported the efforts of Utah’s congressional delegation to abolish the Antiquities Act - the same law that allows presidents to establish (you guessed it) national monuments. (Read our post on the tension between San Juan County’s tourism boosters and elected officials.)

BLM to host public meetings on Bears Ears plans - Deseret News
The Bureau of Land Management, which manages the bulk of the land within the shrunken monument, is pushing ahead with public hearings on land-use planning. Why are people so fired up about something so wonky? These plans benefit extractive industries by allowing mining and oil and gas drilling on land originally protected by Obama’s monument boundaries. On a related note…

Groups seek notice of mining activity on former monument boundaries -
The numerous groups that filed two lawsuits against the Trump administration over the president’s move to slash Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments want to require companies to provide advance notice before beginning any “ground-disturbing activity” (read: drilling and/or mining) on former monument land.

Utah’s Mormon Republican establishment is backing Trump’s assault on public lands - Los Angeles Times
The acclaimed Utah author Stephen Trimble examines the connection between Utah Mormons’ history - in particular their “shared saga of trauma” - and the libertarian mentality that informs their politics. “Utah politicians speak of liberty and freedom,” writes Trimble, “but their fixation on shielding property rights from the reach of government weakens everything public,” including public lands such as those that lost protection when President Trump slashed the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. (Read our post on how Mormons’ theology informs their views on land stewardship.)