LCV Statement on Secretary Haaland’s Trip to Utah

Courtnee Connon, 727-744-4163, courtnee_connon@lcv.org

Washington, D.C. — In response to Interior Secretary Haaland’s trip to Utah to meet with stakeholders as part of the review of the harmful changes President Trump made to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) issued the following statement from Conservation Program Director Alex Taurel:

“Secretary Haaland’s engagement with local stakeholders, particularly Indigenous communities, is a welcome change from the previous administration, which ignored the calls of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and those of millions of people across the country when they unlawfully removed protections for Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monuments.  We are confident that Secretary Haaland’s review of the cultural, historical, and scientific importance of these national monuments will inspire President Biden to swiftly follow through on campaign promises to restore protections and provide Tribes with a greater role in the management of culturally significant landscapes.

“Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante were first designated to preserve majestic landscapes containing important sacred sites and outdoor recreation opportunities that power local economies dependent on outdoor recreation businesses and tourism–industries which have thrived since they were first protected.  No one should be fooled by Republican officials in Utah who are insisting in bad faith that they can craft a legislative compromise on Bears Ears after failing for years to engage and deliver one. In the face of threats to the area’s resources from looting and vandalism as a result of lack of protective management, we stand in solidarity with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition in their calls to restore protections for Bears Ears now.”

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Angelo Baca from Utah Diné Bikéyah (UDB) is available to talk with press. For more information on Bears Ears National Monument and the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition (BEITC) check out this helpful backgrounder from UDB.

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