Big money, environmentalists and the Bears Ears story

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  • Mike Maxwell Draper, UT
    Dec. 29, 2016 10:50 a.m.

    This article tries to paint the Navajo Tribe as a bunch of rubes that sold out to the environmental lobby.

    The tribe leveraged big money and environmentalists to get what they wanted. That should be called smart politics. The article talks all about the money spent by the pro-Bear Ears coalition but does not mention the money spent by the anti-Bear Ears coalition. Very one-sided and biased reporting by Amy Joi O'Donoghue here.

  • dulce et decorum est Murray, UT
    Sept. 21, 2016 9:47 p.m.

    It comes across as disingenuous to me to invoke the sacred nature of the land to keep the land accessible to private interests for resource extraction.

  • openrangefan Lakewood , CO
    Aug. 22, 2016 4:50 p.m.

    Nothing like designating a monument to attract a horde and ruin a place that used to be enjoyed only by those who took the time and effort to know about it. Bring on the adrenalin rush sports junkies and trophy experience collectors. Yeehaw.

  • BobbyPaluga Austin, TX
    Aug. 10, 2016 12:08 p.m.

    This sudden panic to do something to "save" the Bears Ears seems too much like a solution without a problem. How did we survive all this time without the land becoming a national park? As far as "sacred lands" it's such a convenient comment to make whenever someone wishes to do something with land that they may own or lease from the BLM. Normally, I'm not at all cynical but the person identifying as a tribe member is correct, all land is considered sacred to a tribe member. Why is the land sacred? Because our fathers are buried on it. Well so are mine. Why do I have a hard time shaking the notion that a cash payment negates the sacredness? We know when the American Indians came across the land bridge from Asia, who did those folks take the land from? and was the land also sacred to those folks? We haven't the money to properly operate the existing national parks, they are all underfunded and in decline, how is yet anouther national park going to solve the problems of existing parks?

  • BobbyPaluga Austin, TX
    Aug. 10, 2016 11:14 a.m.

    Can anyone point to a policy involving the Indians that doesn't benefit other interests? Let's look at Indian Casino's, do the Indians own the casinos, NO, the same old gambling cooperations own almost all of the buildings and operations, they pay the tribe a % of the profits. Are most casino employees Indians, Also NO, they are generally matching the racial makeup of the area. What about oil drilling in places like Uinta County? The Indians are given royalties, they don't pay for the exploration, drilling or extraction of oil, neither are a higher proportionate part of the jobs going to Indians. Sadly the local tribes are being jobbed by other interests.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Aug. 6, 2016 10:54 a.m.

    All you need to know about the environmentalist movement you can learn from watching the "No Pressure" ad the radical environmentalist group 1010 put out. They say that there is no pressure to be environmentally friendly... and then blow up anyone who does not agree.

    That ad was designed to persuade people to accept global warming... or they want you dead. To some environmentalists credit, they realized that the message "join us or we kill you" maybe wasn't the best idea. But the vast majority of commentators I saw all thought it was hilarious and had no issues at all threatening bodily injury and death to people they disagreed with.

  • TKB Provo, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 5:36 p.m.

    Designation of Bears Ears is a bad idea. One simply has to look at the outcome of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the economic impact it has had on the town of Escalante and the surrounding communities. It is 1.9 million acres, a relatively small percentage of which is regularly visited or even readily accessible by the average tourist. Certainly there are several beautiful canyons, slot canyons and vistas to see but the average tourist does not go there. Few are interested in navigating the washboard hole-in-the-rock road with their cars. Hence, the town of Escalante is becoming a ghost town with boarded up homes, empty businesses and a high school with a declining enrollment. The truth is the land was set aside by Clinton less to protect a natural area and more to appease the extreme environmentalists that wanted to lock up some of the richest seams of high grade clean coal in the U.S. President Obama wants to do the same thing; leaving himself with an environmental legacy. I support Representative Bishop's public lands initiative. It is a balanced measure providing for preservation along with multiple use options in the area.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 4:51 p.m.

    You and Indians may have attended your local meetings but people from the Wasatch front were told they would not be allowed as they were only soliciting local views. They gave no opportunity for other Utahans who have been visiting these lands for years a chance to directly offer their opinions. The first chance we got was in Sec. Jewell's meeting in Bluff.
    Like I said, it really is a mute point if Bishop and Chaffetz do their job and get a bill thru Congress. Obama was forthright with them several years ago. Their strategy to include many other areas and issues into the process slowed it down and it appears they've run out of time. They failed you, me and other Utahans that were open to other options than a Monument.

  • Cousineddy SLC, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 3:58 p.m.

    BClarke I so wish you were the president of the United States. You have my vote. Hek I might write you in this year and avoid my other two choices. I thank you for your common sense approach to a very complicated issue. I love your comment that others come and see this beautiful, pristine land and now want to change the system that has worked protecting it for the last 100 years. Everyone loves the land and wants to protect it, but a monument is not the answer.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 3:38 p.m.

    It could be much smaller that what is proposed. There could also be much harsher laws for those who steal or damage.
    Utah residents should be the only ones voting on this.

  • jbayles Blanding, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 3:38 p.m.

    Wait, if this is a "Native American led effort", then explain to me why two Navajo women from San Juan County were barred by the Bears Ears Coalition from attending this public press conference?

  • Danforth Blanding, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 3:21 p.m.

    Spangs, tourism is a fickle mistress. It's a great icing on your economic cake, but you can't live on icing. In San Juan County, the cake is AWOL. Besides, nothing exacerbates the wealth gap between rich and poor like tourism.

  • Danforth Blanding, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 3:02 p.m.

    Cavetroll, the opposition to the monument has bake sales and t-shirt sales to raise operating funds, has no paid staff, travels at individual expense, and does their own social media.
    FT, I have attended several PLI meetings hosted by the above mentioned congress persons. Indian leaders and tribal members attended and were welcome participants at each, including Sentator Lee's meeting in Blanding. Proponents of the monument were also invited, but declined to participate, perhaps sensing that their views would not be popular and that this meeting couldn't be controlled. The Bluff meeting was the only meeting I have attended about this in which an attempt was made to manipulate the outcome.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 2:57 p.m.

    Old Man
    I am not calling for the designation, not saying we should set aside all the land. If I were, your request would be valid. You want me to act on your belief, not mine. But you will not act on your belief, waiting instead for me to act on yours.

    We cannot undo history, though liberals are always trying to rewrite it, but we can try and make recompense when required. If you feel our use of the land is such an injustice, give yours back; I do not feel our use of the land has been an injustice, and therefor see no cause to give it back.

  • Danforth Blanding, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 2:41 p.m.

    I don't know if any congressmen are getting campaign money for opposing a monument. I don't know if there is oil, coal, or anything else out there to develop. I do know that the opposition group has to sell T-shirts to raise money, does all their own social media, and makes their own arrangements. Further, I do know from the people getting on and off the bus told our people personally that they were being paid to be there, there expenses were covered, and our people heard the directions they were given about what to say, and what not to say. Most of them knew nothing about Bear's Ears. That much was clear from the friendly conversations our people had with bus riders at the Bluff meeting and from hearing what the community organizers told the bus riders. question:Two or three meetings/gatherings of supporters only were held out on Bear's Ears. High Federal Government officials were "sneaked" in to join those meetings. Who obtained the land use permit for gatherings of more than 25 people, for each of those gatherings? Ask the BLM office in Monticello. Find outwho's really running this.

  • Summit Park City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 2:28 p.m.

    Forget Bears Ears. Lets focus national monuments instead on Martha's Vinyard, Camp David, New York City Central Park, Dana Point California... and I'm just getting started.

    Oh, and to fully protect these sensitive area's, we must stop the locals from visiting, using, and polluting them. Then I can live in Utah and feel comfortable that these area's will remain in their pristine condition for my once in a life time visit, if I make it.

    The big government land grab use seems to be a way for the ultra wealthy to create area's that one day will be deemed as King's Forests". Off limits to everyone else. It is a shame that I am using a HP computer to type this right now. Perhaps it is past time to change my buying habits.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    Aug. 5, 2016 1:59 p.m.

    bclarke, I'am pro monument, but I thank you for your measured and reasonable response, this has been lacking on both sides (myself included).

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 1:58 p.m.

    What I find most comical about this article and the comments is that monument opponents are pretending that big money isn't also on their side. You can bet that land and energy developers are pouring resources to prevent the monument. Almost certainly Bishop and Chaffetz are receiving large contributions.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 1:50 p.m.

    Lost asks: Old Man, To Native Americans, ALL the land is sacred. When are you giving back your place in Ogden to the Ute tribes?

    I will at the same time you return your land.

    That's a pretty silly argument, y'know. We can't undo history. But we can try to make sure the mistakes and abuses of history are not repeated.

  • bclarke Blandiing, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 1:02 p.m.

    Clarifying: I don't want to imply that some tribal leaders support a monument solely because environmental groups want them to; not at all. Very sincere people who support the Monument doso because they feel it is right. I fully understand the goodwill and sense of inclusion that would be created by a federal-tribal partnership. I did not mean to offend and I should have chosen my words more carefully on that subject. I, too, have a sincere concern for the land. This issue has quickly made land management in our area a binary path; either I support a fictional utopian monument, or, an exploited oil field--at least this seems to be the reduction of the views each "side" has for the other. I believe it should not be that way; land management and land protection are not mutually exclusive. If you fully support the monument--wonderful. But, as someone who uses the land properly, AND who thinks it should be protected, I would only ask for a moment of reflection and some study as to why a local like me would question the position that a large National Monument is the only/best solution for this land.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 12:57 p.m.

    Old Man
    To Native Americans, ALL the land is sacred. When are you giving back your place in Ogden to the Ute tribes?

    Jeremiah S
    Hamilton, Ohio

    You are a citizen of Utah? or Ohio? The land has been there for millenia, has not been pillaged, polluted, or destroyed. How do you KNOW it will be without the designation?

    Preserving it for ALL Americans? How many will actually see it, or even care? I guess the people who try to make a living down there and whose livelihoods will be hurt are not people?

    Do you support this proposal strongly enough to cede your land over to the tribes? You say designation will bring tourism – if the area is so wonderful, and I am not saying it is not, why is the tourism and recreation not there already? You know what we don’t need? The hysterics of environmentalists who claim the sky is falling because someone uses land other than how they would use it.

    How much do you plan on renting out the cabins you will put in if the designation is made?

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 12:43 p.m.

    To put things in perspective, since there is precious little to go around:

    The proposed size of the Bears Ears monument is approximately 1.9 million acres. This makes it about 20% larger than the state of Delaware, about twice as large as Long Island or about half the size of the Big Island of Hawaii. Much like when Grand Staircase-Escalante was named a national monument, it is being chosen not so much for the beauty and cultural value it contains, but because Utah is considered big, empty, and politically powerless.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 12:34 p.m.

    Land grab advocates concerns would be a mute point if they passed their PLI bill with the few days left in Congress. They've had years to address the issue but it became apparent their strategy was to run out the clock or get a terrible bill thru Congress. How else can you explain that Bishop and Chaffetz did not have one public meeting along the Wasatch Front. In fact all the meetings they had in rural Utah were closed to anyone living outside the county. The one open, public meeting that did draw thousands of supporters was the one initiated by Secretary Jewell and the Obama administration. Everyone was free to come and express their opinion. The fact is Indians and the majority of Utahans have gotten an audience with Obama and his administration but not Representatives chaffetz and Bishop. Mr. Bishop and Mr. Chaffetz you failed all Utahans and the result of it will be another National Monument.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 11:10 a.m.

    Hyperbole appears to be one of your strong suits. Please forgive my skepticism about some guy in Provo deeply caring about the economic vitality of people he's never met, in a place he's never been.

    What it WILL bring is economic activity of a different kind: tourism and recreation. This kind of economic activity is perpetual. The well never runs dry and the fields are never fallow. Sure, it does change the character of the area and that is something we will have to deal with.

    You know what we DONT need? The hysterics of a chicken-little claiming that folks who care for our land support "genocide" and "would always sacrifice hundreds of human lives for the life of a fish." These comments are as implausible as they are inflammatory. Hey, I love fish! On my plate with some tartar sauce. But if I wouldn't trade my grandmother for a plate of fried cod, Vanceone, does that mean I'm not a true environmentalist?

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 9:38 a.m.

    I own a rather large tract of land between Bluff and Blanding. This land actually appears WITHIN the monument on several maps! You would think I would not support this initiative because I can put a gas well on my land. Well, you'd be wrong.

    This local wholeheartedly supports of the Bears Ears Monument. Its too bad that my voice gets drowned out by my county commissioners who's only goal is to fight the feds on any random issue.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 9:31 a.m.

    Did you see that map of the proposed areas? It's enormous. Probably bigger than Massachuessetts. It would gut the economy, such as it is, of southwestern Utah.

    But of course, that's the goal. I've noticed that environmentalists main goal is to hurt humans, and preferably rural humans. The slightly more radical environmentalists are fully on board with genocide; and actively want to bring human population levels down to like 100 million or so--in other words, kill like 19 out of every 20 people on earth.

    So they really, really prefer to see people out of work, starving and forced to move. The more the merrier, as long as it is not them.
    Any real environmentalist would always sacrifice hundreds of people's lives to save the live of a fish.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 9:12 a.m.

    Sounds like, in the case of Leonardo and these other groups, that if they spread enough of their one time bribes to the Indians, that they will "buy the votes" so to speak. We don't need another national monument in Utah, unless Congress creates it. I like what Bishop is trying to do.

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    Aug. 5, 2016 8:48 a.m.

    Enviros rarely have the best interests of the people at heart. Their interest lies in regulating people's lives to comport to their value system. Beware the malevolent do-gooder.

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 8:03 a.m.

    samhill said: It is amazingly hilarious to see a group meeting in San Francisco (of course) and funded by foundations from both Hewlett and Packard (the famously successful bay area technologists) and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

    And the benefit they are receiving by donating this money is? Preserving it for ALL Americans. Horrible People.

    On the other hand those against protecting it are funded by? Oil, Gas, Uranium folks, who benefits there?
    NOT all Americans, in fact some of those corps may not even be American Companies.

    The difference is plain to see, Bishop and merry group of land snatchers receive Huge "Donations" from private entities with self serving interests, and they convince a few locals that Boom and Bust is great for small's Not.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2016 7:17 a.m.

    It is amazingly hilarious to see a group meeting in San Francisco (of course) and funded by foundations from both Hewlett and Packard (the famously successful bay area technologists) and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (he probably likes to see the "Bears Ears" area while flying over it in a private jet) try to claim that, "it is an insult to Native Americans for people to accuse them [Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition] of being influenced by special interest groups."

    Why certainly! How could anyone infer that the millions of dollars and the pressure exerted by people meeting in San Francisco (of course) and who fly in for the meeting in private jets could EVER "influence" Native Americans who know so little about the area of contention?? Surely, such an inference is ludicrous!


  • Jeremiah S Hamilton, OH
    Aug. 4, 2016 9:38 p.m.

    I am a citizen of Utah. I have a voice, and I believe very firmly that without a monument designation, this beautiful area will be pillaged by private companies and left polluted and destroyed. This land does not belong to the State of Utah--we ceded it away forever when we chose to become a state. It belongs to all of the American people, and should be protected by the authority of the President under the Antiquities Act.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 4, 2016 9:23 p.m.

    "The whole tone of it seems like the tribes are generally being used as pawns for the environmental groups to get what they really want," Clarke said. "They are being played. It is somewhat insulting."

    A lot of these people have a quasi-religious view that wilderness is sacred so because of this religious view people are going to be denied their livelihoods. Sacrifice for religious beliefs is only a virtue if the believer makes the sacrifice. It becomes oppression when the believer makes someone else sacrifice.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 4, 2016 8:55 p.m.

    Big business and wealthy developers have hijacked the system everybody else is required to use. It would certainly seem that every day citizens have no voice any more in these matters. Big business, developers, and the Republican Party basically thumb their noses at us little, lowly, private citizens and Native Americans to whom this land is sacred. Putting issues like this used to be settled at the ballot box, but those days are long gone because gerrymandering has stolen elections from the hands of ordinary people.

    Aug. 4, 2016 7:27 p.m.

    "It is absolutely, really absurd to say that. It is an insult to say that. (These groups) serve a good purpose for research and support," she said.

    Exactly what politicians say about big donors!

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Aug. 4, 2016 6:52 p.m.

    Environmentalists have hijacked the system everybody else is required to use. It would certainly seem that every day citizens have no voice any more in these matters. Big business, environmentalists and big government basically thumb their noses at us little, lowly, private citizens. Putting issues like this used to be settled at the ballot box, but those days are long gone.