Access Fund on the Utah Public Lands Initiative Bill and the Proposed Bears Ears National Monument

08/01/2016

On July 29, 2016 the Access Fund sent a letter to Congressmen Bishop (R, UT) and Chaffetz (R, UT), co-signed by Outdoor Industry Association and Outdoor Alliance, regarding the Utah Public Lands Initiative bill and the proposed Bears Ears National Monument. Access Fund determined the position through several years of efforts and after the entire Access Fund policy team spent 3 days in Utah meeting with local climbers and elected officials, discussing climbing management with Secretary Jewell and other land managers, and listening to the spectrum of concerns shared by local stakeholders including the Native American community. The letter states that we will continue to participate in the legislative process; however, we are also realistic about the current political landscape and we support the President's use of the Antiquities Act if there are no other options to achieve our vision for public land management in eastern Utah. See letter here.

We want to see the Bears Ears region protected and climbing access maintained. We don't want 1) large tracts of public lands transferred to the state, and 2) federal control of oil, gas, uranium and potash leases transferred to the state. If the PLI is not improved on these two points (and others mentioned in the letter), we believe that a Bears Ears National Monument is appropriate.

Photo by Jason Keith