July 26, 2019

Udall Statement on BLM’s Rushed Bears Ears Management Plan

Move comes after Trump administration has attempted to shrink Bears Ears National Monument without legal authority

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, responded to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) releasing a final management plan for Bears Ears National Monument, which the Trump administration has attempted to drastically reduce under dubious legal authority. The administration’s attempted reduction of Bears Ears is currently being challenged in court. Udall issued this statement: 

“The Trump administration’s attacks on our nation’s public lands continue. The administration should not be rushing forward with planning on an illegally-reduced Bears Ears National Monument – and certainly not while the administration’s very attempts to shrink Bears Ears are being challenged in court. This administration risks irreparable damage to a fragile landscape at a time when Indian tribes, citizen groups, and over 100 members of Congress are challenging the president’s reduction to this monument. The drastic reduction of Bears Ears is unprecedented under the Antiquities Act, and I am confident the courts will put a check on this unlawful monument reduction. Secretary Bernhardt should put the brakes on this plan until the courts have spoken, and this monument should be protected for future generations – not turned over to the highest bidder.

Udall, along with Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and 11 other U.S. Senators wrote to the Department of Interior in February 2018 strongly urging them to postpone developing of a Bears Ears Management plan until the legal challenges were resolved.