Monday, December 4, 2017

The shrinking of two of Utah's national monuments absolutely cannot happen

Legendary outdoors photographer Ansel Adams once said, "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." 

That chilling quote couldn't be more relevant now. I'm thinking a lot about Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante tonight. Usually, I don't open up about a lot of political issues but there's one issue that I take very seriously, follow avidly, and advocate for... and that's our public lands. Today this new administration turned their backs on Theodore Roosevelt's 'Antiquities Act', vastly and haphazardly eliminating two national monuments in Utah. It's excruciatingly frustrating, wrong, and honestly makes me sad. I've felt off all day because of this. I've spent time exploring both Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears.

They are two jaw-dropping, completely untouched sets of raw, wild land purposely set aside to protect both our ancestors' history and conserve the pristine natural beauty that this country is lucky to still have. What was done today was cowardly and thievery. You really have to stand in both of these places, breathe in the desert air, and see it for yourself- then you may begin to realize the horrific reality that mining, drilling, and development could now take place here.

Being someone who spends nearly all of my free time recreating in this nation's great outdoors, I'm absolutely embarrassed and appalled. We have to protect these lands.