It’s time to change the messaging around Bears Ears and Grand Staircase.
Is there opposition to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase? Undoubtedly. Our Utah congressional delegation and state legislative leaders have so loudly condemned the Bears Ears monument designation that they have drowned out the voices of all the Utahns who worked hard to get the land protected and who still support it today even after massive PR campaigns by the highly partisan Sutherland Institute and others.
The truth is that land conservation is not a partisan issue. Politicians from both parties have designated monuments and national parks for over a century. The greatest American conservationist of all time was Republican Teddy Roosevelt, champion national public lands and creator of the Antiquities Act in 1906.
Utahns from both sides of the aisle, from all denominations and from all parts of the state — rural and urban, desert and mountain — support both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National monuments. Some of them depend on the monument designations for their very livelihood, for much-needed economic opportunity. Others rely on them for spiritual sanctity, for scientific and historical study, for food gathering or for pure recreation. Bears Ears was not created in a vacuum by Washington D.C. politicians, it was spearheaded and championed across the state. Although Grand Staircase was once controversial, Utahns have come to love and appreciate their national monument and even to depend on it for the tax money it brings the state and the tourism business it brings Garfield County.
It’s time to set the record straight by showing our support for our national monuments.
Donald Trump is expected to sign executive orders tomorrow ordering Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review of all national monuments since 1996 with the aim of undoing them. This is a highly partisan, unprecedented and possibly illegal move that ignores the wishes and desires of people from both parties. And so far Donald Trump and Secretary Zinke have only heard from hand-picked monument opponents. It’s time to take partisan banter out of the public lands debate. It’s time for Utah’s voices to be heard.
It’s time to flood the airwaves in response to Trump’s unprecedented executive orders.
It’s time to tell your personal stories. Why do these monuments matter to you? Why are they worth protecting for you and your family? Let’s let Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke know!
CALL TO ACTION – Join the #mymonuments Tweet Storm!
Let’s get the word out that Utah supports our national monuments! Let’s show Secretary Zinke that not all Utahns are monument opponents like the folks Sen. Hatch has hand-picked for him to meet. Let’s counter Trump’s woeful executive orders on national monuments with action. Follow these steps to join the #mymonuments campaign! NOTE: It is not necessary to be on Twitter to participate!
- Select ten pictures of you, of your family or of the scenery in Bears Ears or Grand Staircase National Monuments.
- Write a one-line tweet that can accompany each photo, including the hashtag #mymonuments and tagging @SecretaryZinke @action_utah. Remember, tweets are up to 140 characters, including hashtags and handles.
- Send one tweet a day for ten days in a row.
- Retweet tweets from others. Go to @SecretaryZinke and @action_utah to share and like tweets that others are tweeting.
- IF YOU DON’T USE TWITTER: Email us your photos and your one-liners and we will tweet them on your behalf. Then other tweeters in the Twitterverse can share and like them for more visibility.
- Lastly, SHARE THIS ACTION! Share this action on social media, but ALSO call up your friends and family across Utah and particularly folks who are outside of Salt Lake County, who live in rural areas and who have religious and conservative viewpoints. Let’s get ALL of Utah heard to defend our national monuments!
Not sure what your Tweets should look like? There’s no right or wrong way to show support for monuments. Just make sure to include:
#mymonuments @SecretaryZinke @action_utah
Check out a sample tweet from today:
— Andrea Himoff (@andreahimoff) April 25, 2017