Calls on Trump Administration to Meet with Tribal Leadership
Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today released the following statement amid reports that the Trump Administration will consider abolishing or significantly reducing the size of the recently created Bears Ears National Monument:
"For years, the tribes and communities in the Four Corners region worked together to protect Bears Ears National Monument for future generations," Bennet said. "The ancestral lands and cultural sites at Bears Ears are sacred to this region, including to the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian tribes of Colorado, both of whom strongly support this designation. Even to contemplate abolishing this new Monument before formally meeting with tribal leadership disrespects those who have had a deep connection with this land for centuries.
"Any executive action to diminish Bears Ears National Monument is an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Antiquities Act, which has been used to protect areas like Browns Canyons, Chimney Rock, the Great Sand Dunes, and many other iconic sites in Colorado and across the country," Bennet continued. "Before taking any action, the Trump Administration at the Secretary level should meet with tribal leadership and hear why Bears Ears is worth protecting."
Under the Antiquities Act, presidents have designated more than 150 National Monuments. According to the Congressional Research Service, "No President has ever abolished or revoked a national monument proclamation, so the existence or scope of any such authority has not been tested in courts." Several legal analyses have concluded that the Antiquities Act does not authorize the President to repeal National Monument designations.