FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 06, 2020
CONTACT: Emily Thompson, 202-758-3936, Emily_Thompson@Protectnps.org
Coalition Condemns Final Management Plans for Utah National Monuments
WASHINGTON, DC — This morning, the Interior Department finalized resource management plans for the reduced Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah by releasing two Records of Decision. The decision – which comes more than two years after Trump dramatically cut the size of the monuments, will open up millions of acres of public lands to drilling, logging and mining.
In reaction to the announcement, Phil Francis, Chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, issued the following statement:
“Today’s announcement that the Interior Department will open up large swaths of lands that were once protected as part of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments to drilling, mining, and logging represents a grave attack on our public lands.
“This callous and destructive use of our public lands and waterways puts some of America’s most priceless cultural sites, archaeological resources, wildlife areas and recreation opportunities at risk of catastrophically destructive development. From the vast archeological ruins of Cedar Mesa, to the freestanding Pueblo structures at Beef Basin, to the enchanting wilderness of the Toadstools – the American people love our public lands and overwhelmingly support their protection and preservation for future generations
“An attack on one national monument is an attack on them all and puts in jeopardy the many types of public lands and waters that symbolize America’s love for its cultural heritage and outdoor pastimes like hunting, fishing, camping and hiking. Our national parks and public lands – including both Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument – must be protected. We strongly condemn this decision.”