Chairman Bishop's Public Lands Initiative an Affront to Tribal Sovereignty
Washington D.C. - September 22, 2016
Today's House markup of H.R. 5780, Representative Rob Bishop's (R, UT) Utah Public Lands Initiative (PLI) represents yet another chapter in the long and sordid history of this disastrous bill. While the addition of a Bears Ears Commission that would elevate tribal voices is a positive change, the foundation and framework remain problematic in innumerable ways. The PLI is a step back to the nineteenth century, affronting the sovereignty of the Ute Tribe of Utah. PLI would also belittle the voice of Native American Tribes in the management of the Bears Ears cultural landscape and turn over public lands and public roads to the State of Utah at the expense of the American public. The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition (BEITC) also condemns the rush job Chairman Bishop has applied to the PLI in the closing days of the 114th Congress, and we stand in unified opposition to PLI.