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Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Challenges Expected Bears Ears Modifications

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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.

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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