I was at the meeting of the Commission for the Stewardship of Public Land at the Utah State Capitol on April 20. And I was appalled by the attitudes and behavior of Rep. Mike Noel, who referred to those of us supporting designation of the Bears Ears as a National Monument as "greedy, selfish people" who believe we have the right to decide what happens in San Juan County. The tone of the meeting was argumentative, contentious and there was plenty of name-calling.
This opposition to Bears Ears does not represent the vast majority of Utahns who, like myself, support the position laid out by The Salt Lake Tribune editorial on April 24, "Obama Should Create a Bears Ears National Monument." We are excited about the Bears Ears Monument proposal as something that not only will help protect irreplaceable ancestral Native American cultural artifacts but will also help heal our history, land and peoples. The Bears Ears region is a world treasure that deserves our protection.