Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Obama’s Next National Monument Could Ignite “Fierce” Land Battle In The West
One hundred miles northwest of the Four Corners, two buttes rise out of the red dirt and scrubby brush. The buttes, named for their ursine appearance, are known as Bears Ears, but for visitors of this remote corner of Utah, the glowing sandstone and hawks gliding overhead might distract from what the area is becoming: a battleground.
This sprawling 1.9 million-acre parcel of land may soon become a new national monument — a protected space similar to a national park. There are a few ways for a place to obtain that status, but in the case of Bears Ears, all eyes are currently trained on President Obama, who can declare a national monument with the wave of his pen. Battles over the federal government’s ownership of large stretches of
land in the West go way back. The 1970s and 80s saw the rise of the “Sagebrush Rebellion,”
and the Bundy-led standoffs in Nevada and Oregon were the latest
iteration of that still-simmering conflict. Across the West people are
still arguing, and occasionally fighting, over who should control the
land. And there’s no place where that’s more true than Bears Ears. A coalition of Native Americans wants the large stretch of land to become a national monument — but a special kind where they share control. The push to turn Bears Ears into a national monument took off last fall.
Though there had been talk of protecting the site before, a group of
Native American tribes calling themselves the Bears Ears Coalition submitted a 66-page proposal for the site in October...more