Bears Ears Bill Continues Assault on American Public Lands

A bill scheduled for a hearing Tuesday continues the assault on American public lands by attempting to codify the presidential order to wipe out 85 percent of Bears Ears National Monument, endangering invaluable archaeological, cultural and wildlife resources.

Collin O’Mara, the National Wildlife Federation’s president and CEO, made the following statement on H.R. 4532 by Rep. John Curtis of Utah, to be heard by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands:

“This bill attempts to make legal the illegal decimation of Bears Ears National Monument. The National Wildlife Federation stands with the Navajo, Hopi, Ute, Ute Mountain and Zuni tribes and will steadfastly oppose any efforts that desecrate sacred lands or silence the tribes’ voices,” O’Mara said. “We urge Congress to join with the tribes, local communities and businesses, sportsmen and women, and the overwhelming number of Americans—all of whom reject sacrificing our public lands and outdoor heritage to satisfy this administration’s unquenchable thirst for unfettered mining and drilling in all corners and waters of our great nation.”

The National Wildlife Federation today is releasing the first of a series of short videos that feature sportsmen and women across the Rockies who oppose shrinking or carving up any national monuments. They stress how the public lands help sustain our fish and wildlife populations and provide opportunities for all Americans to hunt, fish, hike and explore landscapes and sites vital to understanding our natural and cultural history.

“If we open the door to reducing or eliminating national monuments, we’re opening ourselves up to loss after loss of our precious public lands,” said Jessi Johnson, co-founder of the sportswomen’s group Artemis and the Wyoming Wildlife Federation’s public lands coordinator. “We’ll lose some of the last vestiges of our wild lands, which are vital habitat for wildlife and important to hunters and anglers. The loss and degradation of our public lands will cost us a key bookmark in the pages of our history.”

“Like other national monuments, Rio Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico represent what’s best about America,” said Gabe Vasquez, the southern New Mexico outreach coordinator for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation. “Our national monuments speak to our values as Americans and tell the stories of our past, our culture and our hopes for the future. They’re among our remaining wild places. For anybody to put our public lands, wildlife and heritage at risk is a slap in the face to all Americans.”

Visit the National Wildlife Federation Media Center at


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