Coalition Letter to President Trump and Secretary Zinke re: Bear Ears


President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Ryan Zinke
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW,
Washington, DC 20240

April 11, 2017

Dear President Trump and Secretary Zinke:

We are contacting you with an appeal to uphold the Bear Ears National Monument, and to refrain from reducing or diminishing it in any way.

Our organizations are active in the Next 100 Coalition, which formed in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The Next 100 Coalition of civil rights, environmental justice, conservation, religious and community organizations advocate for greater inclusion of diverse communities in our country’s national parks and other public lands.

In 2016, the Next 100 Coalition released a series of policy recommendations for our public lands and waters. Among them was the establishment of the Bears Ears National Monument. As you know, Bears Ears National Monument is our nation’s only national monument designed heavily by recommendations made by sovereign American Indian tribes. It is also the only monument with a primary focus on the deep heritage, long standing traditions and contributions first nations have made.

On March 17, 2017, the Next 100 Coalition celebrated the formation of the new Bears Ears Commission, which will be responsible for advising the Administration on the management of the Bears Ears National Monument. The Bears Ears Commission is made up of appointees from the Hopi Nation, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe, and the Pueblo of Zuni. The Next 100 Coalition recognizes the Bears Ears Commission as an important and ground-breaking model for stakeholder collaboration in public lands management.

The first action of the Bears Ears Commission, was a request to your Administration to uphold the Bears Ears National Monument. The Next 100 Coalition stands firmly with the Bears Ears Commission in their recommendation.

Furthermore, we strongly urge your Administration to not only meet with the Bears Ears Commission within the confines of office buildings, but also to send Secretary Zinke and other high-level Administration officials to spend time meaningfully engaging with the Bears Ears Commission on-site at the Bears Ears National Monument. Your Administration can then hear first hand what the National Monument means to various tribes’ cultures, spiritualities, and histories. It would be a sign of profound disrespect to tribes, and all who collectively steward public lands, for the Administration to make any decision regarding the Bears Ears National Monument before such substantive engagement has taken place.

Lastly, the Bears Ears National Monument’s significance is not only to tribes, but to all nations and people. The Next 100 Coalition recognizes Indigenous peoples’ leadership as effective, central and necessary to the proper stewardship of U.S. land and waters. The establishment of Bears Ears National Monument and the Bears Ears Commission is an important step forward in implementing a new public lands vision and leadership model that prioritizes respect to our nation’s first Indigenous peoples.

In Hope,

African American Explorations
Luke Miguel Argleben, Student Advocate
Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council
Children & Nature Network
CLLARO (Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, and Research Organization)
Conservation Lands Foundation
Diverse Environmental Leaders
Environmental Learning for Kids
Dr. Carolyn Finney, Cultural Geographer
Freedom Riders Park
Greening Youth Foundation
HECHO (Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors)
Hispanic Access Foundation
Hispanic Federation
Japanese American Citizens League
Brenda Kyle, Community Advocate
Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
Latino Outdoors
LULAC National Office
National Urban League
New Mexico Voices for Children
Outdoor Afro
Outside Las Vegas Foundation
Por La Creación Faith Based Alliance
Rural Coalition
Soul River Inc. – Runs Wild
The City Project
The Dignitas Agency
The Joy Trip Project
The Praxis Project
The Trail Posse
Valle del Sol
Vet Voice Foundation
Voces Verdes
Voto Latino


The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
S-230, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate
S-221, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House of Representatives
House of Representatives
H-232, US Capitol
Washington D.C. 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader
House of Representatives
H-204, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515