DATE: August 1, 2019
SNIP: Less than two years after President Trump dramatically shrunk Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized a management plan for what remains of the monument. Instead of protecting the monumental redrock landscape, home to thousands of cultural sites, the plan would largely continue to manage the land as if it wasn’t a national monument, even allowing new utility transmission lines and widespread vegetation removal using tractors and massive chains. As National Wildlife Federation President Collin O’Mara told reporters, the plan “simply pours salt in the open wounds of the tens of thousands of tribal leaders and citizens who fought for decades to conserve these sacred lands.”
[T]he new Bears Ears plan opens the possibility for new utility rights of way through the monument, and allows chaining, a process using tractors and a large chain to rip down pinyon and juniper forests. Additionally, though the BLM identified more than 82,000 acres of lands with wilderness characteristics within the monument, the plan specifically declines to protect those wilderness characteristics, instead directing that they be managed for multiple uses and even opening up hundreds of acres for new utility rights-of-way.