We’ve been following what we will refer to as The Bears Ears Situation for a while now. We feel that we have finally found enough facts, or at least “sides to the story” to report on the situation.
We have chosen to link out to the article from The Salt Lake Tribune for just this reason. So much of the controversy has become a “Trump vs. Conservationalists” discussion that we wanted to include what happened before Trump and move the issue away from whether or not you “hate or love” our current President.
Note: Native Tribes pushed the Obama administration to create Bears Ears to preserve their history, culture, way of life and to give them more of voice in the management of this land.
Note: Utah is a largely Republican state with many elected officials being upset that Obama was probably going to designate the Bears Ears Monument against the State of Utah’s wishes. They viewed this as a federal land grab that infringed on their States Rights to manage the land as they wish.
Note: The creation of the Bears Ears monument was known to be probably before Obama left office but after Trump was elected president. The referenced article explains how Utah officials started lobbying Trump before he even took office.
Note: Speaking of lobbying, at least on uranium mining company, Energy Fuels Resources (USA) Inc. launched a concerted lobbying campaign to scale back Bears Ears National Monument. According to the Washington Post, the nation’s sole uranium processing mill sits directly next to the boundaries that President Obama designated only a year ago Source Link
Note: Trump has stated that he is “only giving the land back to Utah as they will be better able to manage it” and he “righting an overreach of the federal government”
The above information leaves us with many questions that we are still deliberating on.
- What is the roll of conservation vs the creation of jobs in the energy sector?
- Is this an issue of States Rights or States not recognizing Tribal Rights and the Federal Government stepping in ensure Tribal protection?
- Should the Federal Government be responsible for ensuring conservation of anything? Should we become more and more reliant on them to protect what we feel is important at the extent where they continue to have more and more power?
- Should people as whole become more pro-active in the efforts they believe in such as to influence local/state level representatives and even companies so that conservation is more important to everybody?
- Our favorite major-level response to all of this is from the beginning when apparel company Patagonia boycotted the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake because Utah officials called on President Trump to repeal the Bears Ears Monument.
In the end, it is our opinion that the only vote that really counts in the vote you make with your dollar. If you hit someone in the pocketbook hard enough they will listen. But it takes lot’s of people together to hit the pocket books hard enough to change the mind of party oriented elected officials on either side of the isle. In Utah’s case it will come down to their economy.
Is recreation and conservation worth more money to the state, localities and local economy than the energy sector?