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I attended the rally and hearing at the Utah State Capitol May 17 concerning support of Bears Ears National Monument.

The rally inspired. Native Americans, in Salt Lake and from Monument Valley, representing many thousands of tribal members, spoke in one positive, humble and honest voice encouraging President Obama to preserve and protect this sacred and irreplaceable land. Former enemies called one another "brother," united for the future of their ancient homelands for all.

In contrast, the hearing disappointed. Representatives pontificated in divisive, prideful voices, insisting Utah is a country unto itself, disregarding the fact that Bears Ears is public land belonging to all Americans. A single Native American (conveniently from Mike Noel's district) "represented" the native opposition to a monument. At one point, this august body considered amending their resolution opposing any presidential action to create a national monument by claiming the president has only "alleged" authority to employ the Antiquities Act — an Act ratified by the U.S. Congress in 1906 and used by presidents from Teddy Roosevelt on to protect treasures beyond measure.

I add my voice to the rational and overwhelming support – beyond the House chamber — for Bears Ears National Monument.

Valoree Dowell

Salt Lake City

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