On December, 4, President Trump issued a presidential proclamation attempting to dismantle Bears Ears National Monument, replacing it with two much smaller national monuments, which are 85% smaller than Bears Ears as it stands today. Under this proclamation, 1.1 million acres will lose their national monument status, including world-class climbing areas, like the beloved splitter crack mecca of Indian Creek.
President Trump does not have the legal authority to revoke or modify a National Monument, and Access Fund is preparing to fight to protect Bears Ears National Monument.
How will climbing be affected?
According to Access Fund, if this proclamation stands, the impacts to climbing would be far-reaching:
- About 40% of the climbing areas within Bears Ears National Monument would lose their national monument status, including Valley of the Gods, Harts Draw, Lockhart Basin and a portion of the climbing at Indian Creek (see map below).
- Many sites would be opened up to oil and gas leasing, including areas under and abutting the world-class climbing at Indian Creek. The two new, much smaller monuments that the Trump Administration is attempting to establish—Shash Jaa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument—are explicitly drawn to allow oil and gas development opportunities (see map below).
- Climbing will lose its acknowledged status as a valued and appropriate activity. Access Fund spent hundreds of hours of targeted advocacy to get “rock climbing” included in the original Bears Ears National Monument proclamation as a valued and appropriate activity. This acknowledgment secured climbers a seat at the table and solid footing during decision making processes that affect management of the national monument. No such acknowledgment exists in Trump’s new proclamation, meaning land managers don’t need to consider climbers’ interests.
- The climbing experience will be compromised. Bears Ears offers a climbing experience unlike any other. Climbers deeply appreciate the experience of climbing in an undeveloped landscape that affords incredible opportunities to enjoy a unique cultural and historical story. This presidential proclamation attempts to dismantle the landscape-scale protections that preserve this incredibly unique region, rich in cultural and natural resources.
- A dangerous precedent will be set. This fight is about more than just protecting the incredible climbing at Bears Ears. Nearly 60% of our climbing areas are on federal public lands, and if this presidential proclamation stands, it threatens the very foundation of our public lands system. Bears Ears is a crucial battle in the greater fight for America’s public lands.
Access Fund is suing President Donald Trump
On the grounds that President Trump’s Presidential Proclamation #9558 violates both the Antiquities Act and the United States Constitution, Access Fund has named President Donald Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and other administration officials in a lawsuit to defend Bears Ears National Monument.
In a recent email, Executive Director Brady Robinson explained:
“Stand with us by making a donation today. We need to raise $100,000 by Dec 15th to help our public policy experts, scientists, and lawyers protect Bears Ears and our treasured public lands. A generous donor has come forward to match your donations, dollar for dollar, through December 15th–doubling your contribution to the fight.”
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