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Members Unveil Bills to Settle Utah Monument Controversy
Legislation Provides First-Ever Tribal Co-Management Authority

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 5, 2017 -

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) and Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) unveiled the Shash Jáa and Indian Creek National Monuments Act and the Grand Staircase-Escalante Enhancement Act.  The bills, co-sponsored by Rep. Mia Love (R-UT), codify in law requirements for local input in the management of President Trump’s newly-designated national monuments in Utah and authorizes the first-ever tribal co-management authority.  

“This debate has been focused on the wrong issue. Instead of talking about size, we need to be talking about protecting the right areas in the right ways. We get to what’s right by first listening to input from Utah’s tribal members and local citizens. My bill emphasizes those views. It will protect archaeological treasures and sacred sites while, where appropriate, maintaining multiple use lands for recreation, hunting and grazing. Ultimately, my bill ensures the right decision is made in how we manage our land,” Rep. Curtis stated.

H.R. 4532 (Rep. Curtis), the Shash Jáa and Indian Creek National Monuments Act, establishes two national monuments in San Juan County, Utah: the Shash Jáa National Monument, the first tribally co-managed national monument in the nation, and the Indian Creek National Monument. H.R. 4532 maintains the existing 1.35 million acre mineral withdrawal under President Obama’s 2016 Bears Ears National Monument.

The bill also establishes the first-of-its-kind Archaeological Resources Protection Unit, a statutory assignment of additional law enforcement personnel, and additional federal dollars, for the exclusive protection of antiquities within monument boundaries.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante Enhancement Act (Rep. Stewart) codifies the boundaries of the new Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument established by President Trump. It also creates Utah’s sixth national park, the Escalante Canyons National Park, which conserves the area while allowing public access for hunting, fishing, trapping, and grazing.  

“With their deep narrow canyons, high plateaus, sheer cliffs, incredible vistas, and vibrant colors, the Escalante Canyons are a crown jewel in the state,” Rep. Stewart said. “Escalante Canyons National Park is a win-win for those wanting conservation and access. It’s a win-win for those who want to share the beauty of this state but also to preserve the local culture that is so important to our communities. Additionally this bill gives locals a stronger voice in how their backyard is managed.”

"Now is the time for Congress to take the next step forward,” Chairman Bishop stated. “This legislation will set in motion what we need to do to bring finality to the situation.”

Click for H.R. 4532 bill text and one-pager.

Click for the Grand Staircase-Escalante Enhancement Act one-pager

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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