Rep. Bishop Bill Makes Bears Ears a Gift to Oil, Gas & Coal

WASHINGTON – Two days before Interior Secretary Sally Jewell hosts a Saturday meeting in Utah to hear local views on a proposal to create a 1.9-million-acre national monument in an area called Bears Ears, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced the Public Land Initiative bill today laying out an alternate approach.

Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, made the following statement:

“Bears Ears is a spectacular landscape that needs and deserves national monument protection. With more than 100,000 cultural sites - from petroglyphs and pictographs to grave sites and granaries - it tells the story of indigenous peoples who have called this region home for more than 3,500 years.

“Rep. Bishop’s bill would derail those vital protections and hand over vast reaches of these priceless American lands to destructive mining and drilling, turning much of this region into an industrial wasteland—another broken promise to the people who have called it home for millennia.

“This bill is going nowhere. Bears Ears should go forward. It’s time to designate this special land as a national monument so that future generations of Americans may know its natural splendor and cultural worth as the earliest Americans experienced it.”


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 and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

Related Press Releases