This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Tuesday, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell eloquently laid out the moral reasons for a Bears Ears National Monument. In rethinking conservation in the year of the national park centennial, she reminded us that "we haven't done enough to celebrate the contributions of Native Americans."
Jewell wants to make national parks and public lands "relevant" to every culture and "decisively more inclusive places" in order to "tell a more complete story of America." She wants us to "think big," on a "landscape-level" scale.
She brought herself to tears near the end of her speech, when she imagined taking a grandchild to old growth forest or listening to a howling Yellowstone wolf. She came close to bringing me to tears, too as she crisply outlined why modern conservation values lead directly to the Bears Ears.
By protecting these lands that sweep south from Canyonlands to the Navajo Nation, we protect canyons actively consecrated and blessed by native prayers, living libraries of indigenous traditional knowledge. We respond to the secretary's call to protect "places with incredible antiquities at risk of looting."
Let's make sure the secretary hears that we support her vision when she visits Utah. Speak up for the Bears Ears.
Salt Lake City