, 2022-12-13 14:00:54,
by Darren Thompson
SALT LAKE CITY — On Friday, December 9, the Hopi tribe, the Navajo nation, the Haute Mountain Ote tribe, and the Zuni Pueblo entered into two lawsuits aimed at restoring the original boundaries of Bear Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments in Utah.
In 2017, former President Trump scaled back the boundaries of both monuments, which conservationists and tribes say stripped protection of American Indian religious sites.
Zuni Pueblo Lieutenant Governor Carleton R. “Bears Ears provide food, medicine, cultural items, and ceremonial sites. As co-directors of the Sovereign States Administration and Bears Ears National Monument, we have the right to intervene in these lawsuits. As rulers and individuals of this land, we have a responsibility to protect Bears Ears.”
The state of Utah is challenging President Biden’s attempt to restore the original boundaries of each of the national monuments, saying the antiquities law is illegal. Signed by President Theodore Roosevelt on June 8, 1906, the Antiquities Act was the first American law to provide general legal protection for cultural and natural resources of historical or scientific interest on federal lands. The law set an important precedent by emphasizing a broad public interest in resource conservation in…
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