In her recent speech addressing “The Next Hundred Years of Conservation,” Secretary Sally Jewell highlighted the need for a “course correction” regarding conservation in the United States. Among these corrections was the need to engage those from different backgrounds and different walks of life who are often on the fray of conservation conversations. This is evident in our own state surrounding the matter of Bears Ears. Utah's legislators have sought a specific narrative from San Juan County. In doing so, they have attempted to overshadow certain Native voices seeking monument designation. Such designation would preserve cultural landscape and provide protection from further threats of looting and vandalism.

It is time for these voices to be heard and for action to be taken.

I hope President Obama designates Bears Ears as a National Monument. My understanding and appreciation of the landscape is minimal compared to those living on the land. However, as a Utahn, I can say I fully support and appreciate their efforts. For the next hundred years of conservation, it is essential that these voices are heard above the clamor of anti-conservation and anti-federal government rhetoric. I am hopeful.

Madison Hayes

Salt Lake City