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The Cave Towers of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Photo: Katherine Frey, The Washington Post
After having shrunk the Bears Ears National Monument drastically, the Administration announced last Friday a new management plan for what remains of the monument and, according to CBS News, the agency chose the plan that only closes about 42 square miles to off-road vehicles rather than the option that would have closed nearly 184 square miles. The Bureau of Land Management’s plan for the Bears Ears National Monument argued that the historic sites most at risk will remain off-limits from off-road vehicles, but environmental and Native American groups cried foul because lawsuits are still pending challenging the monument’s downsizing.
Why This Matters: The Trump Administration continues to race ahead with development on sensitive and vulnerable sacred sites for Native Americans — historical and cultural treasures that should be preserved for future generations of all Americans, but especially for the Tribes for whom this land is sacred. And they have summarily removed Tribes from the monument’s stakeholder management board. The rationale for the decision is to enhance recreational opportunities and ensure access to traditional uses — but dirt bikes and dune buggies are not compatible with preservation and appreciation of the culture and history within the remaining monument. Only 15% of the original monument remains, and now it will be criss-crossed with tracks from joyriders and hunters for whom this land means nothing. Disturbed forever.
Like Robbing Your Grandmother
Native American leaders were angry. “It’s like seeing that your grandmother’s house has been robbed,” said Carleton Bowekaty co-chair of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, in a statement. “These lands are sacred to us and they are being destroyed — sometimes inadvertently — by people who don’t understand our culture and way of life.”
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer The Department of the Interior announced Friday that it will use funds allocated by a conservation bill passed last year to fund 165 national park improvement projects that will create nearly 19,000 jobs. The Biden administration has pledged to protect 30% of public lands and waters by 2030, but accomplishing that means completing deferred maintenance […]
The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced late last week a new pricing structure for its federal flood insurance program. The federal government has been subsidizing flood insurance for people in areas defined by the government as flood-prone — the new pricing takes into account the actual risk to people’s homes.
Why This Matters: The prior system was inequitable and FEMA says its new system will mean that low-income people with less valuable homes will pay only their fair share.
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