On December 2, 2016, TakePart published my article on a new national monument proposal in Southeast Utah. Exactly 26 days later, President Obama used an executive order to create the Bears Ears National Monument. I’d like to imagine my article has some teeny tiny impact on Obama’s decision. The new national monument permanently protects more than 1.35 million acres.
Within hours of the announcement, Utah Republicans vowed to eliminate the monument. Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch met with Trump in late January. According to the Washington Post, Hatch reported that “President Trump is ‘eager to work with’ Republican lawmakers on undoing new federal protections for Bears Ears.” Trumps interior secretary nominee, Republican Representative Ryan Zinke, from Montana, is apparently eager to undo the monument, which he called “a travesty.” Continue reading