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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We need someone to create a map of the 4 corners states outlining all existing Indian Reservations, National Parks, NCAs, National Monuments, and wildlife refuges with the proposed national monuments overlaid on them. The promoters are extremely careful not to do this. As just one example, the proposed Grand Canyon National Monument would share borders with the following: Adjacent Restricted Areas:

Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument 1.7 MM acres

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument 1.9 MM acres

Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument 1,017,000 acres

Vermillion Cliffs National Monument 293,689 acres

Kaibab National Forest: 1,542,791 acres (just federal land, not including State and private inholdings)

Grand Canyon National Park-1,217,280 acres

Total combined continguous areas that will have been taken out of multiple use by Presidential fiat (without public input) since 2000 (including the proposed monument): 6,127,969 acres.

Total areas of connected tribal lands

Havasupai Reservation 188077 acres

Navajo Reservation: 11,596,288 acres

Kaibab Plataeu Paiute Reservation: 120,827 acres

Hualapai Reservation: 992,463 acres

Total connected tribal lands = 12,897,658 acres

Total stitched-together contiguous area to be “protected” –from people like YOU– 19,025,627 acres, an area >1/4 the size of the entire State of Arizona (72,960,000 acres), by comparison.