Environews: Bears Ears showdown heats up

By Amy Brunvand

On the other hand, the proposal for a Bears Ears National Monument is an example of what happens when politicians play political games instead of engaging the community. U.S. Congressmen Rob Bishop (R-Ut-1) and Jason Caffetz (R-Ut-3) are trying to ram through a revised version of their deeply flawed Utah Public Lands Initiative (PLI) in hopes of blocking President Obama from using the Antiquities Act to designate Bears Ears National Monument.

The PLI was never a genuinely collaborative process, and it’s no surprise—Bishop is one of the founders of the Congressional Federal Lands Action Group with an agenda of transferring federal public lands to states in order to avoid environmental regulations and to sell the land into private ownership.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited Utah to host town meetings on Bears Ears in Moab and Bluff, raising hopes.

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance: suwa.org; Bears Ears Inter-tribal Coalition: bearsearscoalition.org

This article was originally published on August 2, 2016.