Environews: Fake posters oppose Bears Ears

By Amy Brunvand

Opponents of designating a Bears Ears National Monument in San Juan County Utah posted fake flyers designed to look like they came from the federal government or from environmental groups. One flyer with a forged “U. S. Department of Interior” letterhead threatened that President Obama was going to reduce the size of the Navajo reservation. Another flyer announced that Utah Navajos were excluded from a picnic supposedly hosted by Diné Bikéyah, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Great Old Broads for Wilderness and Friends of Cedar Mesa.

False claims on the flyers are similar to those made by Utah legislators at a meeting of the Commission for Stewardship of Public Lands last April when anti-monument legislators made allegations that tribal support for Bears Ears was a front for environmental groups.

Absurdly, Utah Representative Mike Noel (R-Kanab) has also blamed archaeological looting in the Bears Ears region on badgers digging holes.

In fact, the Bears Ears proposal originates with Indian tribes, and it would be managed by a commission, made up of one representative from each of five tribes plus three from federal agencies including U.S. Forest Service, BLM and National Park Service, giving the tribes far more influence over land management than they have now.

This article was originally published on July 11, 2016.