WASHINGTON, D.C. December 4, 2017 – Today, President Trump eliminated protections for vast portions of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah, effectively abolishing the two monuments. The proclamation repeals 85% of the Bears Ears National Monument and cuts Grand Staircase-Escalante by almost half.

The decision reverses protections for Bears Ears National Monument granted at the behest of five sovereign Tribal Nations with strong historical, spiritual and cultural ties to these public lands. It ignores a decades of proven benefits from Grand Staircase-Escalante, its importance as a Latino heritage site, and more than 2.8 million public comments submitted in support of preserving national monuments.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune issued the following statement.

“Today’s announcement is a disgrace. It’s an insult to tribal sovereignty, centuries of Latino heritage, and to people across the country who love and care about our great outdoors. Yet again the Trump administration has sold out the American people and our special places — all to benefit the fossil fuel elite.

“We cannot afford to leave the protection of Native American sacred sites, special places of great cultural and historic significance for Latinos, outdoor recreation destinations, and natural wonders to the largess of polluting industries. The Sierra Club joins in solidarity with the Tribal Nations in support of the full Bears Ears National Monument, and we remain dedicated to defending Grand Staircase and other Latino heritage sites, as well as the rest of our great outdoors.”