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As the Trump administration continues to stoke a debate around commemorating our nation’s history, it’s increasingly clear whose culture they don’t care about. Yesterday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke reportedly recommended that President Trump eliminate nearly 90 percent of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, an area sacred to Native American tribes across the Southwest. This unprecedented and illegal action would endanger tens of thousands of archaeological sites over an area the size of Glacier National Park.

For more than 80 years, tribes and conservationists have worked to protect this stunning red rock landscape full of ruins, rock art and other cultural sites. Last year, at the urging of five Southwestern tribes, President Obama designated Bears Ears National Monument to celebrate Native American cultural history and to protect these archaeological sites from looting and vandalism.

Thursday, Secretary Zinke concluded his “review” of 27 national monuments by sending a set of recommendations to President Trump. While the Trump administration is keeping the report secret, press reports from the Washington Post and New York Times have confirmed that Secretary Zinke is recommending drastic steps to eliminate large swaths of multiple national monuments, including Bears Ears.

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