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News Release

Office of Representative Debra Haaland (D-NM-01)

Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM-01), Vice Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, conducted oversight on the Trump Administration’s inadequate review and improper alteration of national monuments. The committee heard from tribal leaders, public lands managers, business owners, and scientists. During the hearing, Vice Chair Haaland pointed to the roots of Pueblo people in Bears Ears National Monument.

“I have serious concerns about the Trump Administration’s lack of attention to communities who are deeply affected by his attempts to shrink national monuments. Today’s hearing shed light on which voices were ignored and which voices made the decisions — it’s clear that Tribes, local business owners, and outdoor enthusiasts that drive local economies were ignored, while the administration’s friends in the uranium and oil industries were able to influence these decisions,” said Vice Chair Haaland.

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In February, United States Senator Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) and Representative Deb Haaland along with United States Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-New Mexico) and Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona), led a group of more than 100 Democratic Members of Congress in re-introducing legislation to protect America’s treasured national monuments against the Trump administration’s relentless attacks on public lands. The America’s Natural Treasures of Immeasurable Quality Unite, Inspire, and Together Improve the Economies of States (ANTIQUITIES) Act of 2019 reinforces Congress’ clear intent in the Antiquities Act of 1906: only Congress has the authority to modify a national monument designation.

After the Trump Administration took drastic, unprecedented steps to illegally shrink Bears Ears National Monument, leaving 85% of the land unprotected, Haaland and Gallego introduced the Bears Ears Expansion and Respect for Sovereignty Act which would not only protect the original land previously designated by President Obama but also expand Bears Ears to the full 1.9 million acres of land identified by local tribes as containing sacred artifacts and cultural resources. The legislation would restore tribal consultation by requiring federal land managers to use tribal expertise to manage the monument’s lands and protect over 100,000 archaeological and cultural sites in the area.