INSIDE SOURCES

Along with Utah, outdoors group sues over Biden restoring boundaries of Bears Ears

Aug 26, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:19 am

Bears Ears National Monument sign with the five Tribes' insignias on it....

The news Bears Ears National Monument sign that was unveiled after the signing of the agreement. Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management.

SALT LAKE CITY — An outdoors organization is joining the state of Utah in a lawsuit against the Biden Administration for restoring the original boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument, arguing the action harms members of the community in the area.

Through the 1906 Antiquities Act, President Obama created the Bears Ears National Monument. In 2017, President Trump shrunk the size of the monument by about 85% from about 1.3 million acres to around 228,000. But last year, President Biden restored the original boundaries of the monument — 1.36 million acres.

Now, Utah leaders are suing the Biden Administration over the decision, arguing that both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments are too large to be managed by the federal government.

The Antiquities Act states that areas of the monuments are to be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.

Utah leaders sue Biden administration over national monuments

Coalition joins Utah lawsuit over Bears Ears

Ben Burr, the executive director of the Blue Ribbon Coalition of Idaho, joins Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson to talk about his article in National Review. He discusses the state’s lawsuit and why he believes the administration’s actions are hurting Utahns.

“So, you can see you have four different presidents who have looked at this area of Utah, and none of them can agree what is the right size for a national monument,” Burr said. “That is what is at the heart of the Utah legal challenge to the Biden designations, and also to a companion lawsuit that my organization filed yesterday to also challenge these national monument designations.”

“Ben, in the suit that you filed . . . you also have a rancher and a miner and members of the Utah Native American community . . . What is it that they’re saying?” Boyd asked.

“We have ranchers who are seeing it’s almost impossible to manage their grazing allotments once a national monument gets declared,” Burr said. “We have a miner on our complaint, and they’ve suffered already hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages . . . At this point with the Biden declaration, they probably won’t be able to operate their mining claims, which is a property right.”

Burr further said the members of the Native American community are included in his coalition’s complaint over the Biden monument designation.

“Interestingly, the Obama proclamation did allow for Native Americans to continue to traditionally use the land and harvest materials off of the land,” he said. “The Biden proclamation didn’t keep that exclusion in there so they’re actually being directly harmed.”

Public lands and the outdoors

Burr said the Blue Ribbon Coalition focuses on outdoor recreation and access to public lands.

“What we’re finding is areas that once were premiere backcountry, primitive destinations are now turning into more of the hardened, heavy traffic sites that you’d see in a national park,” he said. “So, it really ruins the outdoor recreation experience in these areas.”

Boyd pointed out the need for balance of enjoying the outdoor experience and protecting and preserving irreplaceable national treasures in these types of proclamations.

“This is not about putting an oil rig under Delicate Arch,” he said. “Often it is hurting those Native Americans who have been using that land for generations or those ranchers. Just that common-sense balance of we can protect and preserve all of those things that we should under the Antiquities Act — and we can still have responsible use and have people be able to experience all of that as well. Getting to that conversation I think is the real crucial part of this.

Related:

Indigenous leaders react to restoration of Bears Ears’ boundaries

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Inside Sources

a person holds a smartphone, is the us moving away from organized religion?...

Isabella Sandston

LISTEN: Why we’re turning to politics for our lost worship

Is a shift away from organized religion feeding into the loss of community amongst Americans?

17 days ago

A green and brown sign hangs on a brick wall. It reads "The future of the world is in this classroo...

Mariah Maynes

Study looks into Utah voters’ opinions on curriculum transparency in schools

A Sutherland Institute study found that a majority of Utah voters support curriculum transparency. However, fewer of them support mandating it with legislation. 

26 days ago

Mitt Romney shown...

Sam Herrera

LISTEN: Romney talks budget, wildfires and TikTok

Sen. Mitt Romney says Democrats and Republicans needed to work together to budget and build legislation that will actually pass.

1 month ago

Utah Rep. John Curtis discusses how a “stunt” by TikTok to influence House lawmakers just anger...

KSL NewsRadio

TikTok ‘stunt’ backfires as House lawmakers push to change company ownership

Utah Rep. John Curtis discusses how a “stunt” by TikTok to influence House lawmakers just angered them.

1 month ago

Dow...

Curt Gresseth

Dow closes down more than 500 points

The Dow dropped more than 750 points before closing down 525 points as inflation numbers rose higher than economists were anticipating.

2 months ago

cellphone schools...

Curt Gresseth

Governor’s message to students: ‘hang up and learn’

Gov. Spencer Cox wants cellphones to be banned in Utah schools during instruction time.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

Along with Utah, outdoors group sues over Biden restoring boundaries of Bears Ears