Students submit petition opposing Greater Canyonlands proposal
Students from Monticello High School delivered a petition to Washington DC in the past week in opposition to the proposed Greater Canyonlands National Monument.
The petition, featuring the signatures of approximately 250 students and community members, was initiated by eighth grade students at the school. It was delivered to the offices of US Senators Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch on April 4 by a group of students touring the Capital.
Junior High President Easton Bowing created the petition with the help of fellow students Parker Knudson and Tanner Holt. It was displayed at the entry to the school for several weeks, where students and visiting community members were free to add their signatures.
The petition was triggered after a petition in support of the designation was presented to President Barack Obama in November, 2012. The first petition carried the signatures of more than 100 outdoor retailers.
The students mentioned that the local petition carried twice the number of signatures as the Outdoor Retailer petition.
In the past two weeks, President Barack Obama used the Antiquities Act to create five new monuments in other areas of the United States.
The Greater Canyonlands proposal would create national monument status for much of the public land in San Juan County west of Highway 191 and north of Highway 95. In total, the proposed designation would change the management status of more than 1.4 million acres of public land.
This could include the Indian Creek basin, Beef Basin, Horse Mountain, Abajo Mountains, Elk Ridge, Dark Canyon, and BLM ground south of the National Forest. Natural Bridges National Monument would be engulfed in the proposed designation.
In total, the proposal covers portions of San Juan, Grand, Emery, Garfield and Wayne counties.