Klamath Tribes Press Release: Support Protection of Bears Ears National Monument

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- December 11, 2017

More information contact:

Klamath Tribal Chairman, Don Gentry (541) 783-2219 ext. 100 email: don.gentry@klamathtribes.com


Chiloquin, OR- The Klamath Tribes announce today their full support and stand in solidarity with the Hopi Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, NCAI (National Congress of Indians), NARF (Native American Rights Fund), and all others that support protecting Bears Ears National Monument – an irreplaceable cultural resources.

The Klamath Tribes concur with statements made last week by Native American Rights Fund Attorney: Natalie A. Landreth, Matthew L. Campbell, which states, “President Trump’s action on December 4, 2017, to revoke and replace the Bears Ears National Monument is not only an attack on the five sovereign nations with deep ties to the Bears Ears region, it is a complete violation of the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution. No president has ever revoked and replaced a national monument before because it is not legal to do so. Only Congress may alter a monument. In light of this blatant violation of law, the Native American Rights Fund, representing the Hopi Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe filed a lawsuit to protect Bears Ears.

Five tribes—Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Pueblo of Zuni, Ute Indian Tribe, and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe—led the effort to establish the Bears Ears National Monument, an area still used for cultural and religious purposes. Increased looting of the estimated 100,000 plus structures, sites, and objects within every reach of the monument dictated the need for protections in the form of a monument designation.

According to NARF Staff Attorney Matthew Campbell, “Bears Ears is one of the most important places for Indian Country, and that is why Indian Country came together to advocate for this important place. Trump’s attack on Bears Ears is an attack on all of us, and we will fight to protect it.”

NARF Staff Attorney Natalie Landreth, said “The Administration is not telling the truth. The Bears Ears monument as created by President Obama preserved hunting, fishing, gathering and grazing rights, and protected these incredible lands from widespread looting and oil, gas and mineral development.” No matter what the President said today, his action does the opposite: by its own terms, in 60 days the revoked lands are open to “entry, location, selection, sale” and “disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing” and “location, entry and patent under mining laws.” Landreth continued, “this is taking public lands that belong to the American people and selling to the highest bidder, there is just no other way to understand it. This latest action follows on the heels of the Administration’s other actions against Tribes: (1) issuing the permit to the Dakota Access Pipeline, (2) issuing the permit to the Keystone XL, and (3) revoking the Executive Order to protect the Bering Sea on April 28th. Tribes vigorously opposed all of these efforts. The Administration uses the term “tribal sovereignty” but clearly does not understand what that means.”

We, the Klamath Tribes vigorously support NARF and these Tribes’ efforts to protect the Bears Ears National Monument, as we too are being threatened with yet another pipeline in the Pacific Northwest -the LNG Jordan Cove Pacific Connector Pipeline- which if built, will be the largest air pollutant in Oregon and future contaminate of over 400 rivers and streams in the Pacific Northwest, not to mention contamination to the Pacific Ocean and abroad.

When a sacred place is lost—to vandalism, exploitation, or corporate greed like pipelines in our area —it is irretrievable, it is lost not just to us but also to the generations to come. It is essential that we unite and fight to keep these irreplaceable treasures intact—there is no second chance.


Ms. Taylor R. Tupper

Klamath Tribes Public Information/News Dept.

Tribal Administration Office

501 Chiloquin Blvd, or PO Box 436

Chiloquin, Oregon 97624

email: taylor.tupper@klamathtribes.com

Phone: 541-783-2219 ext. 147