Crow Canyon Archaeological Center has joined with a number of archaeological and historical preservation groups in signing a letter urging the White House to proclaim a Bears Ears National Monument this year.
The letter, released on Wednesday, asks President Barack Obama to extend federal protection under the 1906 Antiquities Act to the 1.9 million acres of public lands in southeast Utah.
"Bears Ears is one of the most significant cultural landscapes in the United States," the letter states. "It contains more than 100,000 cultural and archaeological sites associated with the Navajo, Ute, Hopi, and Pueblo people who consider this region their homeland. The 1.9 million acres of public lands south and east of Canyonlands National Park include Ice age hunting camps, cliff dwellings, prehistoric villages and petroglyph and pictograph panels that tell the diverse stories of 12,000 years of human habitation.
"Despite its vast cultural significance, inadequate legal protections and insufficient funding have resulted in the degradation and destruction of these archaeological treasures from illegal looting, mismanaged recreational use, and inappropriate energy development. The designation of this new national monument, including adequate funding, will provide the enhanced protections required to protect this national treasure."
The letter was also signed by National Trust for Historic Preservation, Archaeological Conservancy, Friends of Cedar Mesa, American Anthropological Association, Archaeological Institute of America, Archaeology Southwest, Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance, the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, the Providence Preservation Society, the Site Steward Foundation, the Society for American Archaeology, the Society for Historical Archaeology, the Utah Rock Art Research Association, and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
Click here to read the full text of the letter (PDF).
Crow Canyon is offering a guided, week-long backcountry hiking trip to the Bears Ears area in 2017 as part of our Cultural Explorations program. Click here for more information on this unique opportunity!