Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visits Sand Island Petroglyphs in Bluff, San Juan County, on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visits Sand Island Petroglyphs in Bluff, San Juan County, on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. | Twitter

Utah once again ground zero in controversy

For the third time in five years, a U.S. Department of Interior secretary is visiting Utah amid a debate over two controversial national monument designations that will likely never fully be resolved.

In a release sent late Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Interior announced that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland received briefings from federal employees, visited the Bears Ears Education Center in Bluff, San Juan County, met with tribal leaders and was meeting with Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and members of Utah’s congressional delegation.

On Thursday, she will be joined by tribal leaders in more tours of the Bears Ears region and will meet with stakeholders in San Juan County who include local elected officials, ranchers, conservation organizations, mining companies, paleontologists and archaeologists.

Haaland posted on Twitter some of her experiences.

Today I was able to visit the ancient petroglyphs at Sand Island Petroglyphs with @BLMNational staff in Utah.

Estimated to be between 300 and 3,000 years old, these images are located in an area that was part of the original Bears Ears Monument designation. pic.twitter.com/0QsI5KlmvG

— Secretary Deb Haaland (@SecDebHaaland) April 7, 2021

On Friday, she plans to be in Kane County, site of decades-old controversy involving Grand Staircase.

Boomerang effect of changing administrations

The story of the Bears Ears Monument designation and the creation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is convoluted, steeped in history, filled with bitterness, infused with hope and epitomizes the political controversy of how America’s public lands and waters should be used, and who rightfully gets to make that decision.

The fate of the monuments, depending on which Interior secretary visits Utah, has become a political football tossed back and forth by …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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