3 National Monuments Protections Restored
Good news for all outdoor lovers.
A presidential executive order reinstated protections for three national monuments—Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts. The federal safeguards for those monuments had been partially removed in the past.
Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah will be restored and slightly expanded beyond its original 1.3 million acres. Grand Staircase-Escalante, also in Utah, will be restored to its original 1.8 million acres. And Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, a marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, will have its management conditions reinstated.
“On my visit to Utah, I had the distinct honor to speak with many people who care deeply about this land. The historical connection between Indigenous peoples and Bears Ears is undeniable,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in a statement released. “This living landscape must be protected so that all Americans have the profound opportunity to learn and cherish our history.”
According to the Interior Department, the 2017 reduction of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments represented the largest reduction in national monument designations in U.S. history.
“Biden-Harris administration officials conducted Tribal consultations and met with numerous interested parties,” the Interior Department said. Those groups included Indigenous-led organizations; scientific and nonprofit organizations; small business owners; ranchers; outdoor recreation organizations; fishing industry representatives; New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils; the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission; and conservation organizations.
The current president becomes the 18th Commander-in-Chief to rely on the Antiquities Act to protect cultural and natural resources in the U.S.