More than 99% of comments gathered back Bears Ears and other national monuments

As 15-day public comment period on the designation of Bears Ears National Monument comes to a close, a new analysis of comments submitted and gathered so far reveals nearly unanimous support for the monument.

The Center for Western Priorities analyzed a representative sample of the roughly 90,000 comments submitted so far at regulations.gov (n=500). Of those comments, 96 percent expressed support for national monument designations, while three percent expressed opposition to monument designations. Roughly half (48.4 percent) of the comments submitted so far refer specifically to Bears Ears National Monument, with a similar 97-to-3 ratio in support among those comments. (more…)

Written by on Thursday, May 25th, 2017

From Jack Abramoff to a state-owned oil company, Trump’s nominee for Deputy Interior Secretary has a lot of explaining to do

When the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee sits down with Deputy Interior Secretary nominee David Bernhardt on Thursday, Bernhardt will have to answer for even more questionable connections than we knew about last month.

At the top of the list: crooked lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and Norway’s state-owned oil company, Statoil. (more…)

Written by on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

President Trump ignores lessons from the Bush administration to leave national monuments alone

When President Trump issued an executive order threatening dozens of America’s national monuments, he reopened a door firmly closed during the George W. Bush administration. A similar review of monuments launched in 2001 was halted after the national monuments in question proved to be exceptionally popular.

Instead of listening to lessons already learned, President Trump has again called into question America’s overwhelmingly popular conservation legacy. (more…)

Written by on Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke toured the Bears Ears National Monument yesterday, spending his morning flying over the monument and the afternoon hiking to one of the many thousands of archaeological sites with a slew of national monument opponents. Prominently featured in Secretary Zinke’s tour group was Matt Anderson, a Utah-based political operative with ties to multiple entities funded by the Koch brothers.

(more…)

Written by on Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

This week Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is touring Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah, part of the Trump administration’s “review” of national monuments designated since 1996. It is widely expected this review and tour are precursors to eliminating or shrinking the national monument, which was established with support from an unprecedented coalition of Native American tribes who consider the land sacred. As Zinke tours Bears Ears, one of his guides, Senator Orrin Hatch, has made it clear he doesn’t think these tribal governments can think for themselves, and that he knows what’s best for their cultural heritage.

(more…)

Written by on Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

On Sunday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke plans to travel to Utah to launch his “review” of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. His trip comes only ten months after former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell spent four days exhaustively touring the Bears Ears region listening to a range of proposals for the landscape’s future.

Zinke’s trip is part of President Trump’s executive order launching a review of dozens of America’s national monuments, starting with Grand Staircase-Escalante (designated in 1996) and ending with Bears Ears (designated in 2016, five months after Secretary Jewell’s visit).

(more…)

Written by on Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

In the days following President Trump’s executive order triggering a review of 21 years of national monument designations, newspaper editorial boards across the West and the nation weighed in with swift and severe condemnations of the president’s actions.

Here’s a sampling of what they had to say:

(more…)

Written by on Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

In the days following President Trump’s executive order triggering a review of 21 years of national monument designations, newspaper editorial boards across the West and the nation weighed in with swift and severe condemnations of the president’s actions.

Here’s a sampling of what they had to say:

The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah’s national monuments have already justified themselves:

The president’s justification is built on factual sand. “Federal land grab”? Both monuments were already federal land before they were declared. “Preserving our land”? There is no argument to be made that monuments haven’t preserved land. “Free it up?” What does that even mean? Free to overgraze and drive wherever we want? We’ve been there, and no one wants that.

(more…)

Written by on Monday, May 1st, 2017

President Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order placing 24 national monuments under “review,” thereby opening the door to remove or reduce protections for these cherished lands.

Response across the West was swift and severe. Leaders were quick to call out this action as a direct affront to America’s public lands legacy.

Here’s a roundup of what folks had to say:

(more…)

Written by on Thursday, April 27th, 2017

On Wednesday, President Trump traveled to the Department of the Interior, signing an executive order targeting our national monuments. The order will launch a review of national monuments designated in the last 21 years, a precursor to eliminating protections for some of our most spectacular lands. This is the beginning of an all-out assault on our national monuments, which have protected iconic places, from the Grand Canyon to the Statue of Liberty, since the passage of the Antiquities Act in 1906.

Here are five important things to know about today’s announcement from the president:

(more…)

Written by on Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Today's Latest

Last chance for Bears Ears

There’s one day left to submit public comments in support of Bears Ears National Monument. Bears Ears received a far shorter comment window (just 15 days) than other national monuments under “review” for reduction or outright elimination…

May 25th, 2017

Budget breakdown

President Trump’s proposed FY 2018 budget includes deep cuts to the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, putting Western communities that rely on U.S. public lands for their livelihoods in the cross-hairs…

May 24th, 2017

The numbers are in

Today, President Trump plans to unveil his 2018 proposed budget, which is expected to tilt the scale toward special interests instead of the American people…

May 23rd, 2017

Protected public lands are part of our Western heritage and deserve bipartisan support. @WstrnPriorities