San Juan County Commission Supports Bears Ears National Monument Expansion Act
According to a report in the Canyon Echo Journal, the San Juan County Utah Commissioners voted on Tuesday to pass a resolution supporting the Bears Ears Expansion and Respect for Sovereignty Act, which if passed would increase Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah back to the 1.9 million-acre area originally proposed by the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition in 2015.
President Obama designated a 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in 2016 after removing areas from the coalition’s proposal that had high potential for mineral development. Then in 2017 President Trump reduced the monument by an additional 85 percent, citing local opposition to the monument.
Newly-seated San Juan County Commissioners Willie Grayeyes and Kenneth Maryboy outvoted fellow commissioner Bruce Adams to support the resolution. In February, Maryboy and Greyeyes also voted to withdraw San Juan county from a lawsuit initiated by the previous commission, which supported a much-reduced Bears Ears Monument. Adams, the only remaining Republican on the San Juan County Commission, has voted against all three pro-monument resolutions that have come before the commission this year.