Statements regarding local national monuments

President Donald J. Trump
“Our precious national treasures must be protected.  And they, from now on, will be protected.  Under my administration, we will advance that protection through a truly representative process, one that listens to the local communities that knows the land the best and that cherishes the land the most. 

Senator Orrin Hatch
“I’m thrilled and grateful to President Trump and Secretary Zinke for giving Utahns a voice in the protection of federal lands in Utah. The President’s proclamation represents a balanced solution and a win for everyone on all sides of this issue. It also represents a new beginning in the way national monuments are designated, paving the way for more local input, and taking into account the actual letter and intent of the Antiquities Act, which calls for the ‘smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.’”

Utah Governor Gary Herbert
“By acting on Secretary Zinke’s thoughtful recommendations, President Trump has restored balance to our public lands discussion. We are pleased that Utahns once again have a voice in the process of determining appropriate uses of these public lands that we love. By reducing these super-sized monuments to a size consistent with the intent of the law, new doors of dialogue have opened up that will allow thoughtful, long-term protection of these federal lands. Federal, state, local and tribal officials can now convene to craft legislation for appropriate special protections and responsible recreational uses.”

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
“I thank President Trump for his leadership on the Monument Review and for keeping his promise to make sure the rural voice is heard once again. As I visited the Monuments in Utah, I met with Americans on all sides of the issue -- from ranchers to conservationists to tribal leaders -- and found that we agree on wanting to protect our heritage while still allowing public access to public land. The people of Utah overwhelmingly voiced to us that public land should be protected not for the special interests, but for the citizens of our great country who use them, and this is what President Trump is doing today. Bears Ears and Grand Staircase will remain under federal protection, will adhere to the spirit and letter of the Antiquities Act, and -- even after our modification -- combined will still be nearly twice the size of Rhode Island.”

Davis Filfred, Navajo Nation Council Delegate
“More than 150 years ago, the federal government removed our ancestors from Bears Ears at gunpoint and sent them on the Long Walk, but we came back. The President’s proposal is an attack on Tribes and will be remembered as equally disgraceful —but once again we will be back. We know how to persist; we know how to fight; and we will fight to defend Bears Ears.”

Jonathan Nez, Navajo Nation Vice President
“Bears Ears National Monument is not just for Native Americans but for all Americans. This is a sad day for indigenous people and for America. However, we are resilient and refuse to allow President Trump’s unlawful decision to discourage us. We will continue to fight in honor of our ancestral warriors who fought for our way of life, for our culture and for our land too.”

Shaun Chapoose, Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee Member
“If it’s a fight they want, it’s a fight they are going to get. They declared war on us today. When it’s all said and done, just remember this didn’t have to happen. You (the Utah Delegation) could have honored our request to protect our heritage.”

Ethel Branch, Attorney General of the Navajo Nation
“What we saw today is a tremendous affront to tribal sovereignty and it is a tremendous overreach of executive authority. We intend to hold the president accountable for his actions in federal court.”

James Adakai, Oljato Chapter President
“The Bears Ears Commission of Tribes holds a vision of a Bears Ears National Monument that is a landscape of healing for all Americans and a symbol of Native American and community engagement in our nation’s public lands. Today’s actions fundamentally undermine this vision, tribal sovereignty, and the cultural heritage of all Americans.”

Terry Knight, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
“Because we are Commissioners, any decisions made regarding the fate of Bears Ears National Monument must involve us – the president is required by law to do so, but he did not involve us. In the decision today, President Trump has dishonored our longstanding ties to this cultural landscape and the government to government relationship that our sovereign tribes have with the United States government.”

Leigh Kuwanwisiwma, Director of the Hopi Tribe Cultural Preservation Office
“Secretary Zinke and Utah politicians say that they have talked to tribes about the president’s decision, but none of our Council leaders, executives, or our Commissioners were contacted. Working with tribes means leaving Bears Ears intact and supporting the Commission’s efforts to bring our tribal expertise to the management of the Bears Ears National Monument – not leaving our important sites of pilgrimage, prayer, and the homes and graves of our ancestors unprotected.”
Carleton Bowekaty, Pueblo of Zuni Tribal Councilman
“Bears Ears National Monument has brought much joy to our people. Our responsibility is to move forward as collaborative managers of this sacred landscape, and to protect our heritage for all Americans for the benefit of all people. We will continue to do so until this matter is resolved by the courts.”

Willie Grayeyes, Chairman of Utah Diné Bikéyah
“Bears Ears National Monument was created to safeguard the history of five Native American Tribes and to protect their ongoing cultural uses of the land. This is a landscape that has been mined, looted and desecrated for 150 years and today, President Trump opened 85 percent of the land back up to these abuses. The current administration is playing politics with our native heritage, without even having the courage to look us in the eye. We have no other choice but to seek legal remedies against this illegal action, to listen to our people, and to restore hope in a future that is inclusive of Native American rights and interests on the land.”

President Donald J. Trump
“The Antiquities Act does not give the Federal Government unlimited power to lock up millions of acres of land and water, and it’s time we ended this abusive practice. Public lands will once again be for public use.”

San Juan Record

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Monticello, UT 84535

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