Lawmaker Proposes Protecting Bears Ears Land From Mineral Mining

Lawmaker Proposes Protecting Bears Ears Land From Mineral Mining
Environmental activists are worried about the industrialization of the Bears Ears area, but lawmakers say that won't happen.

President Donald Trump is dramatically shrinking the Bears Ears National Monument, and that raises the question: What's next for that land?

Environmental activists worry Trump's decision will industrialize and allow mining in what was Bears Ears for oil, gas or uranium. According to a recent report from The Washington Post, a uranium company lobbied to scale back Bears Ears in order to gain access to the land's uranium deposits.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has said that isn't the case. And Republican Rep. Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said on Tuesday, "The idea that we're going to give these over to oil and gas companies is a false narrative."

Another Republican is introducing a bill to make sure of that.

Earlier this week, Rep. John Curtis of Utah announced a bill that would prohibit mineral extraction in the area. The bill also proposes the creation of an archaeological resource protection unit and the "first Tribally managed monument."