WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 27, 2019) – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, issued the following statement on the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) final management plan for Bears Ears National Monument. The Trump administration's attempted reduction of Bears Ears is currently being challenged in court. Last year, Senator Heinrich called for the BLM to postpone the development of management plans for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah until legal challenges regarding the president's authority to reduce the size of the monuments have been resolved.
"President Trump's original order to drastically shrink the boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument is rightly facing ongoing legal challenges in the courts. The Trump administration should not move forward on further plans to weaken protections for the natural landscapes and sacred sites within Bears Ears while the legality of the initial order remains in question.
"President Trump's unprecedented move to shrink Bears Ears put appeasing a few extreme interests ahead of overwhelming opposition from tribes, Westerners, and Americans as a whole, who know how vital our national monuments are to protecting the places we all treasure. The process leading up to the President's actions was deeply flawed at best, and illegal at worst. The landscapes and significant cultural sites within the original monument boundaries are unquestionably the types of places that the Antiquities Act was intended to protect.
"This continued assault on Bears Ears sets a dangerous precedent that will fuel an even larger campaign to attack many of our most treasured public lands across the nation. We have a moral responsibility to defend and conserve Bears Ears for our children and future generations."