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National Monument Protections in Utah Opportunity to Tell Latino and Hispanic History

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Aug 17, 2023

Washington, DC – Last week a federal court dismissed the State of Utah’s lawsuit challenging President Biden’s restoration of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. In response GreenLatinos issues the following statements:


“Our Latino/a/e communities are celebrating the permanent conservation of these crucial, and sacred conservation lands. They are essential for honoring Tribal sovereignty as well as meeting our national climate and biodiversity goals of conserving 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. The national monument defense success made in the federal court however points to the imperative for the Department of Interior to be fully funded to ensure these sites are adequately maintained. Recently the Republican-led Committee on Natural Resources proposed significant DOI budget cuts that would obliterate the Department’s ability to steward these lands and interpret the valuable cultural stories that these lands hold even for our country’s Latine communities.


There is abundant opportunity for Latine and Hispanic history to be told in both national monuments. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument’s namesake and geographic boundaries are marked by the story of the Domínguez-Escalante Expedition of 1776. Latin-American artifacts such as scarlet macaw feathers have been found in Bears Ears National Monument, telling of the historic relationships that Mesopotamian cultures had with Ancestral Puebloans and tribes of the region. These stories need to be elevated on a national level which is why 25 leading Latino-led and serving members of the GreenLatinos community have asked Congress to fully fund Interior, dedicate funding for Latino heritage site conservation, and recruit, retain and elevate a diverse DOI workforce,” said Olivia Juarez, GreenLatinos Public Land Program Director

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GreenLatinos (NOTE: GreenLatinos is ONE WORD) is an active comunidad of Latino/a/e leaders, emboldened by the power and wisdom of our culture, united to demand equity and dismantle racism, resourced to win our environmental, conservation, and climate justice battles, and driven to secure our political, economic, cultural, and environmental liberation.

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