Bears Ears National Monument and why it is Important
Why the Preservation of Ancient Land is Vital to Modern Day Existence
There has been quite a bit of controversy in the past few weeks about the fact that President Obama has declared Bears Ears as the newest national monument. Everyone has had their say as to whether or not they believe in the preserving of the land, but what is most importance is not the politics of the ordeal, but the history of the land itself and the reasons why Bears Ears should remain a national monument.
Barred from Development
Land developers have always gained more wealth by cutting down trees and robbing the land of vital resources. Bears Ears National Monument takes up 1.35 million acres of land making it quite a large piece of real estate that would forever be barred from land development. Those that would like to market their businesses toward that piece of Utah real estate would have to seek other opportunities that lack the history and therefore the draw to the land.
In addition to the land development, the land is suspected of having large amounts of oil deposits beneath the surface. The big oil companies are clamoring at the chance of drilling the land. Oil drilling has an extremely negative effect on the land as well as the animal and plant life that call it home. If Bears Ears National Monument is not preserved, bids from high end oil drillers are sure to follow and from that, we will see the land begin to deteriorate. Even if they find nothing, as this has been the case in the past, they will stop at nothing to strip the land of vital resources in search of their precious oil.
Bears Ears National Monument is much more than just barring land owners from increasing their already fat wallets, it is about preserving history for future generations. Our children are the future, but what makes a great leader is a connection to the past. A deep knowledge of where we all came from and the past peoples that were in existence long before true development of this country ever took place.
Vast amounts of evidence is found within the borders of Bears Ears National Monument. The remains of these people give us a window into the past and let us know how they may have cooked, hunted, and even managed their families without the onset of modern day technology. It is a true study of self-reliance that simply looking at these objects in a museum could never offer. Looking at these objects and structures in their very own protected environment is the only way to really connect with the past and learn from it. Our young people deserve the opportunity to do so.
Bears Ears National Monument contains more than 100,000 sites where archeologists have already discovered cave dwellings from the Hopi, Pueblo, and the Navajo Nations. These tribes have worked to maintain their lands and keep them from looting, but before Bears Ears was dedicated as a national monument, looting of priceless artifacts and links to the Native American past was taken away. These tribes want the land preserved to maintain their heritage for future generations to grow and learn from.
Hunters have been at the helm for decades destroying precious wildlife with some being hunted to extinction. These animals are not always able to protect themselves from would be human predators, but Bears Ears National Monument allows for them to live and thrive in their protected environment without fear. The removal of human hunters gives the animals to behave and act as they should rather than running from would be gun fire. It may not seem like a big deal, but when you give people the opportunity to see protected wildlife in their natural environment without outside influence, much learning can take place.
What do the Surrounding Communities Say?
When deciding to designate any national monument, listening to the people is vital. Bears Ears National Monument is said to be one that will drive tourism to the area, but much of the surrounding communities are divided as to what to do. Some residents feel that the state could benefit from increased jobs brought about from the oil companies and other companies that may look to develop the land, but others maintain that the national monument is a good thing because of the increased tourism and the fact that the land will be preserved for future generations.
The politicians will have to sort out the facts of whether to maintain Bears Ears as a national monument, but to deny the land the opportunity to be protected is to deny the people of that land the opportunity to teach their children, maintain their livelihood, and promote healthy animal habitats and that is somethings that we should never compromise on.