BREAKING: Bears Ears protected!

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Bears Ears
Photo: Tim Peterson

President Obama just designated Utah’s iconic Bears Ears region as a national monument. Send him a message of thanks — and urge him to follow through on other key priorities before Donald Trump takes office.


BIG NEWS: President Obama has just designated the majestic Bears Ears region in Utah as America’s newest national monument under the Antiquities Act.

And it gets better: This national monument designation is one thing that Donald Trump alone cannot easily reverse. So it’s especially important that President Obama made this designation before he leaves office in January.

Thank President Obama for making the Bears Ears a national monument — and urge him to follow through on other critical environmental priorities before he leaves office.

This is an incredible victory in our fight to protect our cultural and environmental heritage — first and foremost, for the Native American tribes who have inhabited the Bears Ears region for millennia. Never before have tribal voices played such an active role in shaping the management of a large expanse of public lands like the Bears Ears.

And it’s an exciting win for NRDC members and activists like you who made your voices heard in solidarity with the tribes, sending more than 36,000 messages to President Obama urging him to permanently protect this iconic wildland.

The Bears Ears region — 1.35 million acres of public lands near Utah’s Canyonlands National Park — provides drinking water to more than 40 million Americans, boasts spectacular western wildlands and contains an unparalleled concentration of cultural sites, including ancient petroglyphs and burial grounds.

Yet, this remarkable landscape has been continually threatened by oil and gas drilling, uranium and coal mining, tar sands extraction, rampant looting, vandalism and other dangers.

The monument designation will safeguard the Bears Ears from those industrial dangers, honor our nation’s Native American heritage and give Native American tribes a greater hand in managing their ancestral homelands.

This win comes on the heels of another recent victory for Native American sovereignty, in which President Obama and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sided with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota by halting construction on a piece of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline that would have crossed the tribe’s ancestral homeland and threatened drinking water supplies.

And just last week, President Obama took bold action on another crucial front by permanently protecting most of America’s Arctic Ocean and large portions of our Atlantic coast from oil and gas drilling.

Today’s victory gives me renewed hope that we can compel the President to follow through on other important environmental priorities before he leaves office on January 20. These include extending the coal moratorium on public lands to cover oil and gas development, cracking down on the toxic agrichemicals imperiling bees and monarch butterflies and creating the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument in Arizona.

Please urge President Obama to use the last critical weeks of his term to take bold, lasting action for the environment.

While it will be very difficult for President-elect Trump and Congress to reverse this designation, NRDC will remain vigilant and ready to fight off any attempts to do so. But today, please join me in celebrating this truly spectacular win for wildlands — and thank you, as always, for standing with us.


Rhea Suh
President, NRDC
Rhea Suh

The mission of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.

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