Protect Bears Ears Letter

Dear Department of the Interior:

My name is Brian King. My ancestors trekked from New England and settled the land we know as Utah at a time when Mexico claimed its ownership. When the land was annexed into the Union my family became Utah’s first politicians. Once labeled by some as desolate wasteland, the United States government overlooked the territory surveying the land westward towards California and Oregon. Utah was not admitted into the United States until forty-six years after the Pacific-Coast states, because the government needed to discover the precious minerals in the rocky desert before they realized its worth.

One-hundred-twenty-one years have passed since Utah received statehood, and Republican politicians tied to big businesses have reopened an old conversation that a majority of Utahans have thought was settled. What is the monetary worth of land within the State of Utah? Republicans wish to destroy National Monuments in order to sell them to developers in order to extract minerals for profit. A majority of Utahan constituents (even Republican constituents) do not want this. We, as a state, have evolved, because we do not want our land to devolve into a fractured state devastated by geological extraction.

Utah has steered away from mining as a primary revenue source because it hurts Utah’s waterways, air, and land. Since 1996 Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante were promoted to National Monuments to protect the land and to preserve Utah’s natural beauty. Mr. Trump has escalated an executive order out of spite in retaliation to President Barack Obama’s designation of the Bears Ears, Gold Butte, and Katahdin Woods and Waters as National Monuments under the Antiquities Act.

My fear is that this entire inquiry is fraught in order to give the appearance of a nuanced investigation. If my comment is by any means considered by the Interior Department, or Mr. Trump, than he should know that he would be revoking the status of these National Monuments without the consensus of the people. He would rape, pillage, and destroy our land, break treaties with Native Americans, and personally profit at the expense of our precious land. These monuments are national treasures. One day, every member of the Trump administration and member of the Department of Interior will fall the way of the earth, but their legacies, and the land will remain. However, the condition of this administration’s legacy, and the condition of the land under his protection will only be determined in time.

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