WASHINGTON – President Obama today designated two new national monuments in the West.
The following is a statement by Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“It’s hard to describe the sheer vastness and majesty this protects.
“In preserving the iconic Bears Ears, President Obama has made conservation history. These lands will now be safe from mining, drilling and other threats. It was the Inter-Tribal Coalition’s leadership and vision that made this possible. Native peoples have called this sacred place home for thousands of years. With today’s inspired action, they’ll have a voice in keeping it safe for thousands more.
“And permanent protections for Gold Butte are long overdue. A monument designation will protect this unique Western landscape and safeguard the thousands of Native American cultural sites and petroglyphs in this region."
Bears Ears is a massive swath of land in southeastern Utah, named after a pair of twin buttes. Thirty tribes that formed the Inter-Tribal Coalition hold these as sacred lands.
Gold Butte is a region northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, consisting of rugged mountains, yucca forest and desert. Named after an old mining town, it is home to mojave desert rattlesnakes, big horn sheep, foxes, coyotes, eagles and other wildlife.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.