Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Challenges Expected Bears Ears Modifications
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center near Cortez has weighed in against proposed changes to national monuments, including Bears Ears in Southeast Utah. The Washington Post reported recently that a leaked memo from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommends slashing the size of the 1.3-million-acre Bears Ears and several other monuments and changing their proclamations to allow more resource extraction. In a release, Crow Canyon President and CEO Deborah Gangloff calls the recommendations “an unprecedented attempt. . . to un-do public lands protections that were lawfully designated by previous Presidents.” She says protecting cultural history offers significant economic benefits. In August, Crow Canyon released a consultant’s report examining the economic impact of prehistoric cultural resources across five Southwest Colorado counties. The report estimated the regional impact of multiple protected sites at more than $113 million in 2016 alone.