Zinke moves to shrink and strip protection from Bears Ears National Monument

Credit: Tim Peterson/LightHawk

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took the first official step today toward stripping federal protection from Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument, proposing to reevaluate its boundaries as well as its management. The move is an affront to the indigenous peoples who hammered out a plan to comanage lands that their tribes hold sacred—and it sends yet another chilling signal about the Trump administration’s intent to hand over irreplaceable American landscapes to mining and fossil fuel interests. Zinke’s proposal follows an expedited review, which has been widely understood as a pretext for unraveling federal protections at the behest of Utah lawmakers who are beholden to mining and oil and gas interests. The fight for Bears Ears isn’t over yet.

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