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Bear Ears: A confusing documentary

Tags: native bear ear

I've never traveled, nor paid a visit yet to the Bears Ears National Monument, the 1.35-million acres of red rock canyons that Obama set aside, just prior to the end of his mandate.

So, I was quite anxious to discover “Battle over Bear Ears”, a new documentary on the subject that aired a few nights ago, on our Utah PBS station. I was disappointed by the piece which was more a string of sound bites by various folks involved in the debate, than a good explanation of the issues in contention.

It seems that the subject has been simmering since 1930, caused in part by continued pilfering and vandalism of ancient native artifacts and by the potential the area hold for all kinds of mineral extraction.

Utah conservative politicians, a few inhabitants of San Juan County and some native have fought Federal protection, while environmentalists and a large number of native tribes, have constantly pulled in the opposite direction.

While there is uncertainty about exploiting the mineral resources of that region, “controlled tourism” would help the entire area economically. That was until Trump, unilaterally reduced the 1,351,849 acres (547,074 ha) by 85% on on December 4, 2017.

Today, three separate federal lawsuits from five Native American tribes, a private corporation, conservation groups, and several non-profit organizations and NGOs. were filed by December 7, 2017 challenging that reduction.

This legal action, while taking an unknown amount of time, will add to the uncertainty and will continue to put in danger a whole region that needs protection from unbridled tourism and other exploration.

The points I just outlined were hard to see and understand from just viewing the film.

This post first appeared on Go 11, please read the originial post: here

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Bear Ears: A confusing documentary


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