Cantwell Statement On Report From Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Recommending Changes To The Bears Ears National Monument

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) made the following statement on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s report to President Trump recommending major changes to the protected status and conserved acreage of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument:

"Secretary Zinke’s proposal to remove protection from parts of the Bears Ears National Monument is an affront to tribes that have spent years working to secure protection for the sacred sites and other culturally important lands in the national monument. He would rather turn over these lands for mining and oil and gas development than listen to the overwhelming support — both across the nation and locally — for keeping these areas protected. His report ignores the extensive public outreach and consultation with tribes undertaken prior to the national monument designation and would threaten the significant cultural and economic benefits of the monument to promote mining and oil and gas development on these lands.
President Trump’s executive order to review several national monuments to consider reductions in protection is unprecedented and an assault on our nation’s collective heritage. The President does not have the legal authority to undo protections or to allow mining or oil and gas development in Bears Ears. I will fight any attempt to undermine protection for Bears Ears or any other national monument every step of the way.”