Wasatch Environmental Update for May 21, 2017
By John Worlock, Member of the Board of Directors of Save Our Canyons
“Your Letter to Secretary Zinke”
You will sleep better this summer if you get busy in the next three days and send a short letter to the Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke. Your letter should be designed to let him know that he should leave Bears Ears alone! In other words he should come to the conclusion at the end of his deliberations that the new Bears Ears National Monument should stand, unaltered, just the way it was created by presidential proclamation in January of 2016.
Secretary Zinke has been asked by the new president to take a hard look at all the National Monuments created since 1996. After his hard look, he is to advise the president about reducing the various monuments’ acreage, or perhaps rescinding their creation altogether. The president has been listening to Senator Hatch and some of the local political leaders, and has gotten the mistaken idea that creation of a national monument without the full consent of state and local politicians is ipso facto an insult and needs to be reversed. Since currently the shrill talk of the state and local politicians is focused on the Bears Ears, and since Secretary Zinke recently came to take a tour around southern Utah, we are convinced that the hardest look is being focused on the Bears Ears National Monument.
We recall the pleasure we experienced last January, when the long campaign by an unusual collaboration of five tribes of Native Americans came to a successful end, and the Bears Ears, a National Monument of 1.35 million acres, was created. We, and they, will be crushed if our celebrations turn out to be premature.
Enough talk. Let’s get busy on our letters to Secretary Zinke. Here are the websites of three organizations engaged in writing letters. Listen carefully: Sierra Club dot org – that’s easy to remember. National Parks Conservation Association at www.npca.org. And lastly the Southern Utah Wilderness Association, otherwise known as Suwa, at www.suwa.org. All will offer you some words and perhaps invite you to add your own.
Oh, YES! Immediately! The deadline for public comment is Thursday, May 25.