This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
Claim • Polls show an overwhelming majority of Utahns opposed creation of a Bears Ears National Monument.
Fact • Polls showing majority opposition were ones asking if President Barack Obama should designate a monument. When the question was asked without the president's name removing his unpopularity among Utahns from the equation a Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll showed state residents were split.
Claim • Opponents will lobby President-elect Donald Trump to repeal the monument proclamation. If a president has power to create a monument, a succeeding president can uncreate it.
Fact • No president has ever revoked a monument and there is no express authorization for such an act in the 1906 Antiquities Act. A decades-old attorney general's opinion concluded that such authority does not exist. However, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service concluded that a president could modify a monument designation.
Claim • Designation of the monument constituted a federal "land grab."
Fact • The public lands within the monument are federal lands, with the exception of state school trust lands, which most likely would be traded for other Bureau of Land Management holdings.
Claim • A monument designation will end all traditional use of the land. American Indians will be blocked from gathering firewood and plants for medicine, and performing religious ceremonies. Local residents will be prohibited from grazing cattle or hunting.
Fact • The president's monument proclamation preserves traditional access for American Indians. The state will oversee hunting and the BLM will administer grazing permits.
Claim • The creation of the monument showed a clear disregard of American Indians, who want local say over this culturally important area.
Fact • American Indians are also split on the issue, but leaders of the Navajo Nation and more than two dozen other tribes joined in requesting the designation of the monument.
Claim • The monument will devastate the economy in the communities around the Bears Ears area.
Fact • A study by Headwaters Economics concluded that designation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument did not significantly change economic growth trends seen in surrounding areas, with rising population, jobs and per capita income.
A study by Utah State University found that the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument designation had little or no effect on host counties' economic situation.
Claim • A White House tweet hailing the monument designation as a big step in protecting cultural legacies used photos of breathtaking stone spires and arches.
Fact • The photos were from Arches National Park.