Posted on October 19, 2021 by Jenna Valente
More than 150 organizations, aquariums, and businesses joined a letter addressed to President Biden, Secretary Haaland, Secretary Raimondo, Secretary Vilsack, Chair Mallory, Ms. Gina McCarthy, and Administrator Spinrad, enthusiastically thanking them for their actions restoring full protections to Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine national monuments.
All three of the recently restored monuments protect biodiversity and critical habitat and in his address, the President mentioned the Tongass National Forest, Bristol Bay, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Our old-growth forests and many other special, sacred, and important places must be permanently protected from development if we are to achieve our shared goal of protecting 30 percent of our lands and waters to combat the climate crisis, preserve biodiversity, and address inequitable access to nature.
Our community hopes that these recent proclamations will be precursors to future actions in pursuit of the administration’s goal of protecting ‘America the Beautiful.’
By acting to protect Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, the Biden administration honored the sacred landscape home to Indigenous Peoples, including the Paiute, Hopi, Zuni, Diné/Navajo, Ute, Acoma and Jemez Pueblos, and Ute Mountain Ute. Our community looks forward to Bears Ears National Monument serving as a new model of collaborative management between Tribes, state and federal land agencies. The traditional knowledge and place-based conservation strategies of Tribal communities should play a significant role in shaping efforts to conserve and plan for a resilient future for this landscape that we all hold dear.