“National monuments are established to protect places with cultural and scientific values of national consequence. Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monuments are national treasures and every day that goes by without restored protections leaves them at risk,” said Renee Stone, senior vice president of conservation programs, Defenders of Wildlife. “We are pleased to see that Secretary Haaland is visiting Utah to learn more about the resources at stake and urge the Biden administration to restore protections as soon as possible.”

Washington, DC

This week, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is in Utah meeting with stakeholders, Tribes and elected leaders to inform the White House’s next steps regarding the potential restoration of Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monuments. The Trump administration reduced the size of Bears Ears National Monument in 2017 by roughly 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly half.  Then, in 2020 the management plans for both were revised, heightening the vulnerability of the artifacts, sacred sites, wildlife habitat, and paleontological resources to mining, grazing and other destructive activities.

“National monuments are established to protect places with cultural and scientific values of national consequence. Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monuments are national treasures and every day that goes by without restored protections leaves them at risk,” said Renee Stone, senior vice president of conservation programs, Defenders of Wildlife. “We are pleased to see that Secretary Haaland is visiting Utah to learn more about the resources at stake and urge the Biden administration to restore protections as soon as possible.”

Bears Ears landscape holds enormous significance for Native Americans in the Southwest. It is also home to the Mexican spotted owl and the southwestern willow flycatcher that are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Grand Staircase-Escalante likewise is home to these species and potentially over a dozen more listed under the ESA.  

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With nearly 2.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Media Contact

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Katie Arberg
Katherine Arberg
Communications Specialist
karberg@defenders.org
(202) 772-0259

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