The ten million acres under review in National Monuments, covering 27 national monuments (and I am including Bears Ears National Monument - although that has been separated by the government for some strange reason from the other monuments in legislative comment), needs to be informed by our American historical legacy of preserving lands. This bipartisan history formed since the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, and with the presidential mark of Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, is a foundation to build upon. These 'public lands held by public hands,' ensured employment for Americans, even in times of extreme public unemployment and destitution, when Americans went to work building infrastructure so that Americans, and indeed travelers from all over the world, would be able to see and experience the magnificence of nature, what the current Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has called 'drop dead gorgeous' nature.
Up to now, our North American legacy to the world, has been to preserve for public good and historical, scientific, purpose, rather than develop for personal gain, the natural beauty of our nation. American citizens have kept harmonious balance with necessary development in order that we enjoy what is natural as a people and do not do vapid development and economic profit for an elite few with the earth. In Utah, as one small U.S. example, the Hopi, Navajo, Uintah and Ouray Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni Native American tribes, in their Coalition, are reminding us that Monument protected lands like Bears Ears, among other lands under review, need local and federal protection as precious resources for all people. This Land originally belonged to all of us as gift to take care of; and to pass along in better condition than we found it. This Land was not was not intended to be used up and destroyed with methods like fracking )getting natural gas and oil from the earth just because we want a particular resource now). A collaborative Native American voice, while formed regarding Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, has said what is true for most national monuments throughout the United States under review. Will we care for the earth as precious resource and care for her up to seven generations? from our elders? to our great, great grandchildren?
As voting, and diverse, United States citizens, we are at a cross-roads. When do we have enough material wealth? Will we care for Mother earth, and each other, more than the greedy few?