In another eleventh-hour regulation, President Obama has created two new national monuments covering 1.65 million acres, much to the chagrin of local tribal members and the people of Utah. The area set aside yesterday covers public and private land in Southeastern Utah and southern Nevada. Originally, leaders from an alliance of Native American tribes had asked Obama to set aside a 1.9 million-acre area in southern Utah as it was under threat from looting and ATVs.
The monuments created include the Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada and the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, the latter covering 1.47 million acres. The Bears Ears monument is opposed by Navajo tribal members but supported by its leaders. Despite the House working on a law to set aside this area, Obama’s edict adds an additional 9,700 acres with strings attached to what the House was proposing.
Bears Ears National Monument designated by President Obama in Utah: https://t.co/Si5OvmCFcg
— WTVC NewsChannel 9 (@newschannelnine) December 29, 2016
In a statement issued yesterday on the White House website, Obama wrote: “I am designating two new national monuments in the desert landscapes of southeastern Utah and southern Nevada to protect some of our country’s most important cultural treasures.” These include Native American rock art, archeological digs, and sacred lands. But in a tweet about the new monuments, the White House used a picture from the Arches national park and not Bears Ears.
— Senator Hatch Office (@SenOrrinHatch) December 29, 2016