Adventure Journal | Steve Casimiro | December 28, 2016
Move was widely expected, but conservationists, environmentalists rejoice nonetheless.
That President Barack Obama has been considering creating a new national monument on Cedar Mesa in southern Utah has been no great secret, but fans of federal public lands were thrilled today when Obama actually went through with it and signed the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in being and also created the 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada.
“For hundreds of generations,” Obama’s Bears Ears proclamation says, “native peoples lived in the surrounding deep sandstone canyons, desert mesas, and meadow mountaintops, which constitute one of the densest and most significant cultural landscapes in the United States. Abundant rock art, ancient cliff dwellings, ceremonial sites, and countless other artifacts provide an extraordinary archaeological and cultural record that is important to us all, but most notably the land is profoundly sacred to many Native American tribes, including the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah Ouray, Hopi Nation, and Zuni Tribe.”