This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
I consider the Utah Legislature's current land-grab effort and Rob Bishop's poorly-veiled "locally driven" public lands charade to be a modern Manifest Destiny.
"We, the People," would be marginalized in favor of private development interests from which we would see minuscule benefits just like our native brothers and sisters before us.
But, alas, there is hope in the spread of the preservation movement, whereby we can assure the continued existence and use of our precious resources. An opportunity with the potential to spread that movement farther and wider among a greater diversity of people now lies in the hands of our current presidential administration, the Bears Ears. It is a pioneering idea with the important possibility of reconciliation for the original American sin.
I hope for and urge President Obama to use his executive authority under the Antiquities Act to designate a Bears Ears National Monument. It is an important step for our culture and our lands; and it is a necessary assurance of the continued viability of a way of life for many people and their descendants.