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The threat to unravel protections for Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument is one step closer to reality. After a rushed review, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced he recommends eliminating protections for portions of Bears Ears.
 
An attack on one national monument is an attack on all of our public lands. If all areas in the current Bears Ears National Monument are no longer protected, what is fate of the 26 national monuments also under review, our national parks, our wildlife refuges, and other public lands and waters?
 
It’s clear that the Department of the Interior and the Trump administration have a common goal -- auctioning off our public lands and waters to those who put profits before our historical, cultural, and natural heritage. Now, Congress must step up to protect our special places.
 
Tell your members of Congress to commit to protecting our public lands and waters for generations to come.
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Protect our public lands and waters
I am appalled by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation to eliminate protections for portions of Bears Ears National Monument. It’s clear that the Department of the Interior and the Trump administration have a common goal -- auctioning off our public lands and waters to those who put profits before our historical, cultural, and natural heritage. Now, I look to you to do what this administration will not -- to protect our special places for generations to come. Even in the rush to open up our public lands to destruction, over a million people have weighed in with Secretary Zinke telling him to keep our public lands in public hands and protect them for future generations. I hope that you will listen to your constituents like me, and stand up for our special places. For over a century, Congress has played an important role in safeguarding and preserving our lands, waters, and cultural and historical sites for all people to enjoy. This slow motion threat to America’s national parks, public lands, and oceans could undo this work. After years of work by Tribal Nations  -- including the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and the Ute Indian Tribe -- and with overwhelming support by people across the country, Bears Ears National Monument became a reality. These lands are vital to tribal communities across the Colorado Plateau as a place of subsistence, spirituality, and healing. These lands are home to tens of thousands of important cultural sites, including the cliff dwellings, villages, and rock art panels of the Ancestral Puebloan people. We cannot turn our back on protecting invaluable places like this. Based on Interior Secretary Zinke’s recommendation for Bears Ears, the threat to protections for the 26 national monuments still under review by the DOI has never been more real. These are extraordinary places that showcase our country’s wide-ranging geography and cultural history. Spanning two oceans and 12 states, these national monuments feature ancient coral reefs, giant sequoias, expansive deserts, snow-capped mountains, breathtaking canyons, flower-filled plains, red rock wonders, and wild forests. Our national monuments tell the stories of cultures dating back millennia, continue to be a sacred place for many Native American Tribes, and offer people endless opportunities to experience the great outdoors. We cannot allow our public lands to be opened to development and changed forever. Our parks, monuments, and other public lands define who we are as a nation. Please be a leader,  stand with the public, and protect our  public lands and waters.