Ask Secretary Ryan Zinke to protect Bears Ears

March 3rd, 2017|URGENT Action|6 Comments

Ryan Zinke was confirmed as Interior Secretary on Wednesday and hit the ground running by repealing a rule Obama created on the last day of his presidency to prohibit the use of lead ammunition and tackle on all FWS wildlife refuges to prevent lead poisoning in plants, animals and water sources. This little action on day one confirmed that Zinke will stand squarely on the side Trump politics by supporting the gun lobby, demonizing environmentalists and furthering the perception that all of Obama’s executive orders are “overreach”.

Of particular concern are Zinke’s stances on climate change (he’s a debater) and on public lands. Before the election Zinke stood firmly against the transfer of public lands into state hands. However, so did Donald Trump. Now Trump has flip-flopped in his multiple meetings with our Utah delegation members as they plead with him to repeal Bears Ears National Monument and dramatically reduce the scale of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

In January, Zinke told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: “When it comes to a monument, I think the state should have a say on it. There’s no doubt the president has the power to amend a monument. It will be interesting to see if a president can nullify a monument. Legally, it’s untested.”

The fate of Bears Ears is now in question, prompting protestors to gather outside of Zinke’s confirmation hearing on Wednesday to support for the new National Monument. Zinke has said one of his first priorities is to come to Utah to listen to views on the Bears Ears. Let’s make sure he hears the voices of a majority of Utahns, including Native voices, who support Bears Ears National Monument.


  • Call or email Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to ask him to hear and honor Native voices on Bears Ears in Utah and to protect the National Monument. (202)
  • Sign this Utah Dine Bikeyah petition to show your support for Bears Ears and to tell Ryan Zinke to listen to tribes and leave the Bears Ears boundaries alone, trending now on our Petitions! Petitions! page.
  • Tweet @RyanZinke. Click here to tweet a prewritten message, or write your own using hashtags #NativeVoices #BearsEars #StandWithBearsEars.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Not sure what to write? See the talking points below. Not sure how to write it? Check out these tips.
  • SHARE this with other Utahns!

Talking Points

(From Utah Dine Bikeyah)

Facts & ideas to get you started:

  • 2 million acre proposed national monument
  • At least 100,000 archaeological sites within the proposed boundary
  • 5 sovereign tribal nations leading the initiative: Navajo, Hopi, Ute Mountain Ute, Zuni, and Uintah Ouray Ute
  • 25 Tribes formally endorse the proposal
  • 270 tribal nations across the U.S. have expressed their support through the National Congress of American Indians
  • 66% of Utahns support designation of Bears Ears National Monument (according to this poll – Jan 2016)
  • 64% of San Juan County, Utah, residents support Bears Ears
  • 6 of 7 Utah Navajo chapter houses voted to support the Bears Ears proposal

Other talking points

  • Protect the Earth
  • Honor Native American cultures
  • Prevent looting and artifact theft
  • Respect for graves and other sacred sites
  • Ensure future generations get to experience this place
  • Elevate Native voices in land management
  • Prohibit further mineral extraction
  • Support government-to-government relations between sovereign tribal nations and the U.S. federal government
  • Conserve this amazing landscape


  1. Rachel Smith March 3, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    The majority of Utahns want Bears Ears NM. More importantly, it is sacred land to Native people. Please protect Bears Ears National Monument.

  2. James Tedford May 13, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Bears Ears National Monument was created to protect the land and artifacts of several Indian tribes. We have been mistreating these tribes for hundreds of years. It is time to honor their heritage by preserving this land. Please leave this legally created monument as is.

  3. Jocelyn Glidden May 18, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Dear Secretary Zinke,

    My friends and I enjoyed the southwest reaches of the newly appointed Bears Ears Monument during this early May. We visited upper and lower Muley Canyon, Lyman Canyon Wash, Bears Ears Pass and the Native American sacred artifacts therein.

    Clearly, these natural and cultural treasures are deserving of permanent Federal protection as President Obama’s intended benefit. Please fully honor this designation for the benefit of all Americans.

    Sincerely, Jocelyn C. Glidden

  4. George Fierro May 22, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Dear Secretary Zinke,
    I am a 7th generation American , a Vietnam Veteran, according to my grandfather we settled Big Springs, Texas. I need to ask you to protect Bear Ears National Monument. Both as an American Citizen and a traditional member of the Chichimeca culture from my traditional stock. Please protect this area as a History teacher and a student of Life it is imperative to preserve and respect all tribal cultures

  5. Nanci Nydegger June 13, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Please protect Bears Ears..!

  6. Mark Volmut July 6, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Mr. Zinke, why are you trying to sell public lands for oil and coal when you said you would not. Are you that helpless in doing your job to protect Public and Federal lands? YOU have all of the power to protect these lands. As a tax payer I say do your job and protect these lands.

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