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Utah Legislators Push for Bears Ears Repeal Despite Support from Tribes

Tim Peterson

The battle over management of the Bears Ears area in southeast Utah is still raging despite the fact that President Obama declared it a national monument shortly before he left office.

On Thursday, a committee in Utah’s state senate passed a resolution calling on President Trump to overturn the monument designation. It will now go to the full senate. The Salt Lake Tribune reports the 5-2 vote came after a hearing before 300 people, most of whom supported the monument. In January, a committee of the Navajo Nation Council  voted 19-0 to oppose its reversal. In a release, Navajo Speaker LoRenzo Bates said the nation “remains committed to defending Bears Ears.” The monument was called for by an coalition of five tribes. Its proclamation establishes a commission with representatives from those tribes that will assist federal land agencies in management. It’s the first time Native Americans have been given such a prominent role.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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