Tribes appeal to Obama for National Monument in Utah


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) Tribal leaders in the Southwest have outlined a proposal to designate a section of southeastern Utah as a national monument. The proposed Bears Ears National Monument is named for twin buttes that overlook Cedar Mesa. American Indian and conservation groups say the area is threatened by looting of cultural objects, off-road vehicle use and destruction of gravesites.

Willie Greyeyes says Utah Congressmen have refused to listen to Native American pleas for protection for the Bears Ears in Southern Utah.

Thursday, as a Navajo representative, and a representative of four other tribes, went to Washington and formally asked President Obama to create a 1.9 million acre monument in Southern Utah.

They want the nearly 2 million acres set aside to protect archaeology and sacred land.

Greyeyes said Rep. Rob Bishop and Rep. Jason Chaffetz and the other delegates are not listening to Native American pleas for protection of the Bear Ears. Natives say American ruins are being looted and ground sacred to the tribes should be protected.

"We have a better proposal than he has," said Greyeyes.

Bishop is working on a bill to protect Utah land, including some around the Bears Ears, but his bill has been delayed. He says it is extremely close.

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