28 Jun Red Rock Testimony Supports Bears Ears National Monument
It’s a great honor to be asked by editor Stephen Trimble & publisher Kirsten Johanna Allen to join three generations of voices speaking on behalf of Utah’s wild lands and against a dangerous congressional bill (the Public Lands Initiative) in RED ROCK TESTIMONY: THREE GENERATIONS OF WRITERS SPEAK ON BEHALF OF UTAH’S PUBLIC LANDS. TESTIMONY is going to members of Congress, to the White House, to federal agencies, to environmental & conservation organizations, to the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, to Utah Diné Bikéyah, and more.
By viewing Utah’s public lands as isolated, unconnected pieces, whether wilderness areas or BLM oil-and-gas leases, one can easily miss the whole of the landscape, its ecological and geological integrity. Taken together the public lands of the plateau country—from the Grand Canyon to Dinosaur—offer not only unparalleled windows into Earth’s deep history but also fragile, dynamic ecosystems that remain largely intact.
The Utah Public Lands Initiative now threatens this integrity. Although touted as a “grand bargain,” the proposed legislation fails to balance development with conservation and outdoor recreation. The quality and health of these landscapes would be compromised, instead, by its passage. That this bill comes in the centennial year of the National Park Service makes the lack of mutual concession all the more glaring.
Recognizing interconnections, balance, and the significance of historical, cultural and natural elements are goals of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, a remarkable partnership of the Navajo, Hopi, Uintah & Ouray Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni nations supported by many more tribal groups. The coalition has asked the president to designate the region between Canyonlands and the Navajo Nation as Bears Ears National Monument.
Steve and Kirsten took RED ROCK TESTIMONY to Washington, DC, last week, presenting it at a press conference held at The National Press Club on June 23rd. Kirsten noted some responses: “’We need words,’ Molly Ross told us as she looked through story after story. A national monuments specialist at the Department of the Interior, Molly was immediately drawn into Tim’s beautiful design, and understood instantly what she had in her hands. Steve and I got a similar response to your stories from other folks at Interior and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. . .”
A shortened version of their National Press Club press conference will be available soon. In the meantime, please take a look at www.torreyhouse.org and www.redrockstories.org for links and news.