Letter: Restore our national monuments

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Two buttes that make up the namesake for Utah's Bears Ears National Monument are shown on Dec. 28, 2016, in southeastern Utah.

I care deeply for our planet and the living beings that inhabit this rock floating in the middle of space. My appreciation for our planet and all of its beauty stems from a young age, playing in the tallgrass prairies of northern Illinois. Some of my earliest memories are walks through the prairie, spotting butterfly cocoons and white-tailed deer while listening to the sound of crickets. I have always believed that protecting nature and its functioning ecosystems is essential in our fight for equality and freedom.

The recent article “With a Biden win, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase monuments may soon be restored,” written by Brian Maffly, sparked my interest, as the hopes for reversing the Antiquities Act attacks is in play now that former Vice President Joe Biden is the projected winner of the 2020 election.

The article mentions Biden’s support for the 30 by 30 national initiative. Reversing the cuts to America’s monuments in Utah and enacting policies to support the 30 by 30 initiative is critical for the future of human life on Earth. We are seeing the effects of our changing climate progress every single year. From worsening fires in California to polar vortexes in the Midwest and to droughts right here in Utah. Efforts to preserve our lands and to reduce our overall carbon emissions are needed in the fight to combat climate change. Nationwide policies are needed to cap the total carbon emissions for the large corporations that are contributing up to 70% of the carbon emissions in the United States.

As a University of Utah student, activist and member of Generation Z, I fear that the future of our planet is at stake. Our lands, waters and monuments connect us all, and they must be prioritized now for future generations.

Taylor Jensen, Salt Lake City

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