Opinion

Op-ed: Navajo people have already been restricted enough

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  • kolob1 Sandy, UT
    May 20, 2017 7:14 a.m.

    "What they fail to cite is the list of multiple federal laws that have been established to ensure the protection of these sites and the way of a national monument was unnecessary."
    The Antiquities Law certainly is one of them. If the people of the United States (they own this land) were confident that Utah would not rape the land, invade it with mining equipment, roads and infrastructure that forever cripples the land then maybe there would be less concern with the Bears Ears designation as a National Monument. The State of Utah has not proven that they can afford to pay the upkeep of this valuable land without selling it to the mining interests and the developers. Their entire argument is political.

  • Da_one41 SLC, UT
    May 20, 2017 6:03 a.m.

    A comparison of the Native American support for the two rallies about Bears Ears tells the true story. At the rally in SLC that supported the Bears Ears Monument (not counting the invited guests of the environmental groups) there were 4 natives Americans at the rally. At the rally in Blanding opposing the monument designation there were about 150 Native Americans.
    Another observation; at the SLC rally there were approximately 600-700 people in attendance. The rally cry had gone out weeks before to the entire West, but especially to the Wasatch Front. (Population 2+ million people) It was obvious that some well funded Enviros group was supporting this rally by the # of 'organizers' and the huge # of high quality signs and shirts being handed out for free.
    Compare that scene to the rally in Blanding (population of the County 30K+) where nearly an equal # of people voiced concerns about the monument. There were no 'professional' signs, no free give aways and it was organized impromptu.
    Read through the lines of what the Enviro groups are telling you, I wish the folks in SJC the best. Gen, you did a great job elucidating the facts.

  • Haiku Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 19, 2017 11:12 p.m.

    Does anyone think
    Barak Obama knows best?
    Not better than you.

  • Utah Navajo Montezuma Creek, UT
    May 19, 2017 6:41 p.m.

    Zinke IS following in the footsteps of Roosevelt and reviewing that Monuments are in line with Roosevelt's original intent of the Antiquities Act.
    That national monuments should only be meant for protection of areas for which the SMALLEST AREA compatible with proper care and management...
    1.35 MILLION acres is obviously a CLEAR violation of that!

    As a FELLOW NAVAJO from Montezuma Creek, Genevieve Mitchell is absolutely correct!
    National Monuments and Native American culture SHOULDNT NOT carelessly be compared in the slightest! That's an awful reason to designated a National Monument!

    Unnecessary National Monuments where Native Americans, with a living history still use the lands only work against our ability to exist as a people with a language, a culture & and heritage!!!

    RESCIND BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT NOW!

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    May 19, 2017 3:14 p.m.

    and your point. Utes only arrived about 400 years earlier. Spanish arrived about 480 years ago. Then what happened to the Fremont and the Anasazi that covered these same lands.

    And yet Utes and Navajos have come together to oppose BENM. But your willing to ignore their voice.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 19, 2017 2:34 p.m.

    I am a member of the human race. We are currently growing at a rate that will someday make private property obsolete, lest we kill ourselves before we get there. The stories of the gradual loss of freedom rights and private property are sad and there are many who mourn their loss. The truth is that the more people, the less freedom and private property.

    The plight of the American Indian is just one of many thousands of horrible effects of the growing population. However most of us feel that there are enough good effects of progress to far outshadow the bad. If we could stop the clock, as some would have us do, would we be robbing future children of having the joy of life.

  • Summit Park City, UT
    May 19, 2017 1:34 p.m.

    Very informative. How can this information be made more public?

    The environmental card has been played so many times to distort the political landscape, allowing underhanded decisions to be made that would never have been made if exposed in their true light.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 19, 2017 1:24 p.m.

    I'm glad those who are opposed to Bears Ears feel they can speak out.

    But beyond the opinions of other Navajo in support of Bears Ears, this opinion completely ignores the views of Utes, Hopis, and other Native Americans who support BENM.

    A Ute tribal leader told me it's remarkable that Utes and Navajos came together to support BENM, because they've been historic enemies, as the Navajos are relative "newcomers" to this part of the west, having only arrived about 600 years ago.

    (As for the plight of SJC, it's kind of hard to feel too sorry for a county where the Sheriff and two deputies are under indictment for felonies... but are still on the job. How is that even possible?)

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 19, 2017 1:15 p.m.

    Sad thing is Gen, only the voice of environmentalists and environmental groups matter to some politicians looking for votes. Some people think if you don't live in SLC or on one of the coasts, your voice shouldn't matter. The voice of people in small towns like Blanding, Bluff, Montecello, Mexican Hat, and the reservations don't matter to people in SLC or Washington DC. Populations aren't big enough to matter to politicians.

    I think protecting the land and the tribal treasures and history there is important. Like you... I just don't know that Monument status does that any better than before. And like you said... there's a good chance the unintended consequences of this move won't be seen and suffered right away, but by future generations of people who once lived in the Bears Ears area (not SLC).

    Will you or any tribe be able to raise sheep or cattle in that area in 100 years? I don't know. I doubt it.

    What will the people currently living there do for jobs? Maybe change sheets at a hotel (if they get enough new visitors from the Monument to build one, and temp workers from outside the area don't take all those jobs).

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    May 19, 2017 1:12 p.m.

    Thank you for this. Very well stated.

  • Kimmihend Monticello, UT
    May 19, 2017 12:47 p.m.

    Gen, thank you for this very eloquently written article! So many people from outside SJC, do not understand the negative impact a monument designation will have on the Bears Ears region. Thank you for taking the time to fully understand the facts, and your willingness to stand up and speak out for what you believe to be right!
    It's wonderful to know that SJC is not alone in this fight to truly save the Bears Ears. This monument designation will do more harm that's good and need to be rescinded! #RescindBearsEars #SaveBearsEars #Save SanJuanCounty

  • Canyonlover Blanding, UT
    May 19, 2017 12:29 p.m.

    Thanks Gen, It's much better coming from you even though I have tried so many times to explain this to people. Hopefully this will open some eyes. No guarantees of future administrations policies and changes of rules to meet their wants and needs. One guarantee we have is there is always change.