This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
In his June 13 op-ed, Sen. Orrin Hatch writes that a Bears Ears national monument would impose "onerous burdens … severely curtailing the way of life of so many of our fellow Utahns."
What kind of "onerous burdens," and on which "fellow Utahns" do they fall?
The reality is that the monument not only would preserve thousands of ancient archaeological sites, it also would protect a living cultural landscape for the Native American tribes who have populated and utilized this land for millennia. The monument would ensure that tribal members could continue their traditional uses, including gathering plants, collecting wood, hunting and carrying out ceremonial activities.
Hatch says we need a "collaborative approach to land management." I agree. But collaboration must take into account the views of all participants, especially the tribes whose history is captured in these lands, the vast majority of whose members support monument proclamation.
We need a Bears Ears National Monument to help heal and set right our history, to preserve extraordinary antiquities, to protect the living cultural connection Native Americans still have with this amazing place, and finally, to make this inspiring landscape available for generations to come.
Salt Lake City