Obama creates new national monuments

Bears Ears was allocated to the five dominant tribes who have lived there for generations.
By Vicky Webb | Dec 30, 2016
Located in a swath of the Nevada Desert, outgoing President Obama has declared a sacred tribal site as a National Monument ending years of political infighting on the fate of the site. During his eight-year tenure, Obama has invoked his executive power to create national monuments 29 times, establishing and expanding the protection of 553 million acres national territory of land and water. Outdoing his predecessor's in environmental legacy.

In Utah for example, an additional 1.35 million acres has been designated for land conservation and given back to the community, especially Native American tribes to manage and the earnings plowed back to them for community development.

And according to Russell Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation, who could not hide his joy, "We have always looked to Bears Ears as a place of refuge, as a place where we can gather herbs and medicinal plants. These places the rocks, the wind, the land they are living, breathing things that deserve timely and lasting protection."

Bears Ears was allocated to the five dominant tribes who have lived there for generations. These are the Hopi, Navajo, Uintah and Ouray Ute, Ute Mountain Ute and Pueblo of Zuni who has been at loggerheads in the past. The joint management is aimed at uniting the tribes at the site where there are well-preserved remnants of the ancestral Pueblo dating back 3,500 years.

While conservationists, environmentalists, and archeologists lauded the move, some politicians opposed it vehemently claiming it was the states attempt to grab land.



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