Utah and Western Local Officials Call for the Swift Restoration of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

With Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland visiting Utah this week as part of the Biden administration’s review of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments as outlined in the executive order President Biden signed on his first day in office, The Mountain Pact network of local elected officials released the following statements: 

Anna Peterson, Executive Director of The Mountain Pact said, “Over 140 local elected officials from across the West, including Utah mayors, council members, and county commissioners support the swift restoration of protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. It's time for real collaborative management to begin with Tribes at Bears Ears and for the restoration of protections for these irreplaceable cultural, historic, and natural treasures.”

Town of Bluff, Utah Mayor Ann K. Leppanen said, “Many Utah local elected officials and residents who live near these majestic monuments are eager to finally see Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments restored. Every day that goes by leaves these resources at risk. We need to see protection of these local and national treasures as soon as possible.”

City of Moab, Utah Mayor Emily Niehaus said, “I am excited for Secretary Haaland’s visit. I look forward to a fresh perspective on the protection and management of both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. I am hopeful that under her leadership, we will have a collaborative management plan that considers varied perspectives while also fiercely protecting the place and her cultural resources.”

Summit County, Utah Council Chair Glenn Wright said, “Many Utahns, including local elected officials like me, want Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments restored and protected now. President Biden should take immediate action to restore protections. Management plans for these monuments should include input from local elected officials and concerned citizens. We hope that Secretary Haaland and President Biden will listen to the long-standing calls for better protections for Utah’s public lands - the future of our backyards depend on it.”

Chair Grand County Commission, Mary McGann, Grand County, Utah said, “The United States has a long history of breaking treaties and promises made to Native Americans. The involvement of Native American tribes in the creation of Bears Ears National Monument was historic and monumental, celebrated by many Native Americans. Once again the United States broke its promise to the Native Americans when Bears Ears National Monument was so drastically diminished in size. The Monument should be restored so that this time the United States Government keeps its word with the Native Americans.

Founded in 2014, The Mountain Pact mobilizes local elected officials in over 80 Western mountain communities with outdoor recreation based economies to speak with a collective voice on federal climate, public lands, and outdoor recreation policy.