Ahead of Haaland’s Visit to Utah’s Monuments, the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks Says These Lands Need Stronger Protections. WASHINGTON, DC — Later this week, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will travel to Utah to meet with stakeholders, Tribes, and elected leaders as part of the national monuments review announced by President Biden. Ahead of Haaland’s visit, Phil Francis, Chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, a national organization representing current, former, and retired National Park Service employees, issued the following statement: “Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments need protections now. Over the past four years, we have witnessed a relentless attack on our country’s national parks and monuments; and we know what the impacts have been.   “With Secretary Haaland scheduled to visit Utah’s incredible national monuments this week, we hope her team recognizes these lands are critical cultural, historical, and environmental sites, and they need stronger protections.   “Every day that goes by leaves the irreplaceable resources at Bears Ears and Grand Staircase vulnerable to damage or destruction from looting, vandalism, or other threats as a result of lack of protective management.  “Protections have decreased, but visitation continues to increase. Overarching national monument protections must be restored to provide signage, maps, interpretation, and active on-the-ground visitor management to better protect natural and cultural resources while also better serving the public.   “We hope Secretary Haaland is as inspired by Utah’s national monuments as we are – and that President Biden quickly delivers on his campaign promise to restore protection to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.” # # # # #