WASHINGTON—The Utah congressional delegation comprised of U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Mitt Romney (R-UT), Representatives Chris Stewart (R-UT), John Curtis (R-UT), Burgess Owens (R-UT), and Blake Moore (R-UT), as well as state officials including Governor Spencer Cox, Attorney General Sean Reyes, Senate President Stuart Adams, and Speaker of the House Brad Wilson, issued the following statement regarding President Biden’s executive order directing the Department of the Interior to review the boundaries and conditions of the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments.
“For over 25 years Utah has been the center of controversial and divisive unilateral national monument decisions. Roughly two-thirds of our backyard belongs to the federal government, which has meant land management actions have often been done to us rather than with us. A review in name only with predetermined results, which ultimately leads to a unilateral executive order enlarging the monuments’ boundaries, will not solve the root of the problem and will only deepen divisions in this country. We share a sincere desire to find a collaborative, broadly supported solution to the political football of national monuments in Utah, specifically Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. It is imperative that President Biden bring the State of Utah to the table and work with state and local elected leaders toward a consensus product, including a permanent solution approved by Congress. President Biden championed a message of unity during his campaign, and we stand ready to work across party lines towards a permanent solution.”