Letter: Bears Ears


Letter writer Eleanor Glenn advocates for the salvation of Bears Ears National Monument and Park from the damage caused by the Trump administration.

Eleanor Glenn

In 1996, President Bill Clinton used the Antiquities Act to protect 1.7 million acres of federal land in Utah creating Grand Staircase-Escalante a national monument. Following this, President Barack Obama used the Antiquities Act to protect another 1.35 million acres in Utah, including Bears Ears, as a national monument. 

These actions were important to protect rock art towering as tall as 11,000 feet tall, ancient cliff dwellings, ceremonial sites and home and sacred land to many Native American tribes, including the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Navajo Nation, the Ute Indian Tribe, Hopi Nation and the Zuni Tribe. The land is also one of the most sacred archeological sites left in the United States. There are artifacts dating back almost 10,000 years. It is important to preserve these monuments for educational and historical purposes.

Donald Trump and his team were the first in American history to use the Antiquities Act to significantly shrink national monuments. The Trump administration reduced Bears Ears by 85 percent, opening it up to mining, road infrastructure and destruction of the ecosystem. 

President Joe Biden’s administration should fully restore Bears Ears and Staircase-Escalante to their original boundaries. This will protect rock art, cliff dwellings, fossils, plants and over 200 species of animals. I am a huge supporter of exploring nature, and I believe this land should be protected for the good of the American people.

Eleanor Glenn is a junior in communications studies working with the non-profit Environment America.