Utah Delegation Requests Meeting with President Before Final Decision on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments
Asks that Secretary Haaland’s report on the monuments be made available to Congress
WASHINGTON—Upon learning that Secretary Haaland submitted her recommendations on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Representatives Chris Stewart (R-UT), John Curtis (R-UT), Burgess Owens (R-UT), and Blake Moore (R-UT) sent a letter to President Biden requesting that he meet with them before making a final decision on the boundaries and management of the monuments. They also requested that Secretary Haaland’s full report be made available to Congress.
      
“Our delegation, tribal governments, local partners, and department officials have worked in good faith to share and listen to differing viewpoints on this issue,” the delegation wrote. “In that same spirit, we request you meet with us before making a final decision and publicly release the Secretary’s report recommendations. This is a matter of utmost importance to the communities in our state, and we remain committed to working toward a permanent, legislative solution together.”
        
“We appreciate your cooperation and willingness to engage thus far, and we again urge your administration to work with us to craft collaborative, consensus legislation that reflects the input of the people most directly impacted,”
the delegation continued. “It is past time to end the political back-and-forth that the communities in our state have been subjected to for more than 25 years, and you have a historic opportunity to do so by working with Congress.”
    
The full text of the letter can be found below.
     
Dear Mr. President,
           
We write regarding your administration’s review of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah. Last week, we learned that Secretary Haaland submitted her recommendations to you on the national monuments’ boundaries. As you consider a final decision regarding the monuments’ boundaries and management, we request that the Secretary’s report be made available to Congress and that you meet with us before making a final decision.
          
Since you issued Executive Order 13990, we have on many occasions urged your administration to work with the Utah delegation towards a permanent, legislative solution to the monuments’ boundaries. We appreciated the decision to extend the initial 60-day timeline and that Secretary Haaland accepted our invitation to visit Utah to tour the monuments and engage state, local, and tribal leaders before submitting her recommendation. We also appreciate the continued dialogue between the Department and our staff.
           
During discussions with Secretary Haaland in Utah, our delegation, along with state, local, and tribal leaders, reiterated our desire to find a permanent, legislative solution, which we believe is the only path to resolving the longstanding dispute over the monuments’ boundaries and management, as well as providing much-needed certainty to our communities. We also articulated if the administration acts unilaterally, a legislative solution will be nearly impossible to achieve and it would only lead to further conflict, division, and lawsuits.
                 
Our delegation, tribal governments, local partners, and department officials have worked in good faith to share and listen to differing viewpoints on this issue. In that same spirit, we request you meet with us before making a final decision and publicly release the Secretary’s report recommendations. This is a matter of utmost importance to the communities in our state, and we remain committed to working toward a permanent, legislative solution together.
           
We appreciate your cooperation and willingness to engage thus far, and we again urge your administration to work with us to craft collaborative, consensus legislation that reflects the input of the people most directly impacted. It is past time to end the political back-and-forth that the communities in our state have been subjected to for more than 25 years, and you have a historic opportunity to do so by working with Congress.