The Valley of the Gods was included in Bears Ears but not in Shash Jáa. | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management
You’re saying, “Hey, didn’t we just comment on this? Why are we having to comment AGAIN?” Let’s take a quick moment to review.
Native Americans spent years campaigning to protect Bears Ears, a distinctive site where Navajo believe their people rose from the earth. A coalition first tried congressional initiatives, which were blocked or ignored. They then appealed directly to Obama and then- Interior Secretary Sally Jewel, using the “Antiquities Act“. On December 28, 2016, President Obama designated 1.4 million acres containing ancient cliff dwellings and an estimated 100,000 archaeological sites as “Bears Ears National Monument”.
Grand Staircase/Escalante, designated as a national monument in 1996, is a 1.9 million acres area rich in unique rock formation scientific, ecological, and paleontological resources.
Unfortunately, all these treasures are sitting on top of the country’s largest coal deposits. And uranium. And oil.