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NEWS-Bears Ears, Gold Butte Monuments Connect Wildlife Corridors

 

Contact:

Kim Crumbo, Wildlands Network  928-606-5850 crumbo@wildlandsnetwork.org                  

Kelly Burke, GC Wildlands Council  928-606-7870 kelly@grandcanyonwildlands.org

Designation of Bears Ears and Gold Butte National Monuments Celebrated as Major Milestone in Effort to Protect Critical Western Wildlife Corridor

Obama urged to complete legacy with additional designation of proposed Greater Grand Canyon Heritage region

FLAGSTAFF, AZ – Wildlife advocates praised President Obama on December 28 for his designation of the Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah and the Gold Butte National Monument in southeastern Nevada. The two areas comprise significant portions of a regional wildlife corridor connecting the Rocky Mountains with the desert southwest, protecting a wildlife pathway essential to migration and ultimate survival of treasured native species in a rapidly developing region.

“Bears Ears and Gold Butte may be located in two different states, but from the point of view of a mountain lion, mule deer or bighorn sheep they are part of one critically important wild landscape,” said Kim Crumbo, conservation director for Wildlands Network. “We speak for the wildlife when we say ‘Thank you, President Obama’.”

“With the addition of the Bears Ears and Gold Butte National Monuments, we are one step closer to permanently protecting one of the largest and most important wildlife corridors in North America,” said Kelly Burke, executive director of Grand Canyon Wildlands Council.”

Home to sacred sites and artifacts of native peoples, Bears Ears and Gold Butte also provide an important connection to the western landscapes of the past, as they existed before European settlement. The remote canyons, grasslands and peaks of these landscapes, while threatened by recent human activities, are some of the wildest and most remote areas left in the West.  

In a critical location between the two new national monuments is the proposed Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument, which surrounds Grand Canyon National Park. If designated by President Obama before he leaves office, the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument would significantly expand protections for the Colorado River watershed, the core of the regional wildlife corridor and native ancestral homelands and sites, creating a connected landscape of global significance.

“Those of us in the Grand Canyon region are hoping that Obama will take one final step to secure this truly historic achievement in landscape conservation — designation of the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument,” reminded Burke.  She noted that designation of the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage region is supported by more than 900,000 public comments and backed by Tribal Nations, business, Latino, faith, veteran and community leaders.                       

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The mission of Wildlands Network is to reconnect, restore, and rewild North America so that the diversity of life can thrive. We envision a world where nature is unbroken, and where humans co-exist in harmony with the land and its wild inhabitants.

 

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