Trump Tries to Dismantle Bears Ears, Access Fund Preparing to Fight

Today, President Trump issued a proclamation that attempts to dismantle Bears Ears National Monument, replacing it with two much smaller national monuments that are collectively 85% smaller than Bears Ears (see map below). Under this proclamation, 1.1 million acres would lose their national monument status, including world-class climbing areas.

President Trump does not have the legal authority to revoke or modify a National Monument, and Access Fund is preparing to fight to protect Bears Ears National Monument.

Credit Photo Courtesy of:
Mike Schirf | Aurora Photos

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Access Fund is preparing to fight. Help our policy experts, scientists, and lawyers defend Bears Ears and our treasured public lands. Together we can stop this presidential proclamation from becoming reality.
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If this proclamation stands, the impacts to climbing would be far-reaching:

  • About 40% of the climbing areas within Bears Ears National Monument would lose their national monument status, including Valley of the Gods, Harts Draw, Lockhart Basin and a portion of the climbing at Indian Creek, like The Cliffs of Insanity, The Wall, and other crags (see map below).
  • Many sites would be opened up to oil and gas leasing, including areas abutting the world-class climbing at Indian Creek. The two new, much smaller monuments that the Trump Administration is attempting to establish—Shash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument—are explicitly drawn to allow oil and gas development opportunities (see map below).
  • Climbing will lose its acknowledged status as a valued and appropriate activity. Access Fund spent hundreds of hours of targeted advocacy to get “rock climbing” included in the original Bears Ears National Monument proclamation as a valued and appropriate activity. This acknowledgement secured climbers a seat at the table and solid footing during decision making processes that affect management of the national monument. No such acknowledgement exists in Trump's new proclamation, meaning land managers don’t need to consider climbers’ interests.
  • The climbing experience will be compromised. Bears Ears offers a climbing experience unlike any other. Climbers deeply appreciate the experience of climbing in an undeveloped landscape that affords incredible opportunities to enjoy a unique cultural and historical story. This presidential proclamation attempts to dismantle the landscape-scale protections that preserve this incredibly unique region, rich in cultural and natural resources.
  • A dangerous precedent will be set. This fight is about more than just protecting the incredible climbing at Bears Ears. Nearly 60% of our climbing areas are on federal public lands, and if this presidential proclamation stands, it threatens the very foundation of our public lands system. Bears Ears is a crucial battle in the greater fight for America’s public lands.

Whether you live and climb in Utah or on the other side of the country, this fight affects everyone who climbs on our public lands. All Americans share public lands ownership—climbers in North Carolina own a piece of Bears Ears just as climbers in Utah own a piece of Red River Gorge. Access Fund is preparing to fight in order to protect climbing areas within Bears Ears National Monument. Please stay tuned.