WASHINGTON, DC — Friday Oct 8th, 2020 President Biden issued a proclamation confirming the original boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah.
In reaction to the announcement, Judith LeBlanc, citizen of the Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma and director of the Native Organizing Alliance, issued the following statement:
“President Biden promised to restore protections to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments on Day One. Now, more than 200 days into his presidency, we’re glad that he’s taken action to keep that promise, returning protections to the first successful tribally-led National Monument designation.
“Since President Trump slashed protections in 2017, these treasured and sacred places have been at risk. We celebrate this long overdue restoration and most of all we celebrate that these exceptional, sacred places and their cultural significance will no longer be threatened by vandalism and energy development.
“In September, the Native Organizers Alliance, in conjunction with Illuminative and Utah Dine Bikeyah launched an advertising campaign demanding immediate action to “Protect Bears Ears Now!
“But this is only the beginning, we look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to protect sacred places under threat from resource extraction and industrial development and ensure tribal sovereignty is respected and achieved.”