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  • Judi Lynn (4504 posts)
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    Bear Ears Buttes in Utah

    Bear Ears Buttes in Utah

    Known as Bear Ears for the pair of purple buttes at the region’s center, the newly proclaimed 1.9 million-acre National Monument will preserve a photographer’s checklist of high-desert drama: spires, bridges, canyons. Yet the region’s true distinction is not its topography, but its cultural significance; perhaps no place in America is as rich with ancient Native American sites as Bear Ears. In October 2015, a coalition of five Indian nations, including the Hopi, Ute, and Navajo, formally proposed the monument, attempting to preserve the parcel’s 100,000 archeological sites from ongoing looting and grave robbing. Last June, in a letter to President Obama, more than 700 archeologists endorsed the proposal, saying that looting of the area’s many ancient kivas and dwellings was continuing “at an alarming pace” and calling Bear Ears “America’s most significant unprotected cultural landscape.” President Obama designated Bear Ears Butte and Gold Buttes in Nevada as protected National monuments at the end of last month. The incoming Trump administration, along with the Republican-controlled congress, and Utah state officials, could mount a legal challenge against that designation.–By European Pressphoto Agency

    Images at link:

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/bigpicture/2017/01/10/bear-ears-buttes-utah/Ftz4u6jWScmar4fwUyjJjO/story.html

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  • pinduck (1109 posts)
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    1. Some rural Euro/Americans throughout the SW make extra money by looting

    American Indian sites and selling pots, remains of baskets, arrow and spear points, etc. These are often found for sale at local “Rock shops” which do a side business in selling off these artifacts. Looters even go as far as to use sledge hammers to remove petroglyphs from cliff faces. This is already illegal.

    The National Park Service has a lousy record of protecting these precious artifacts because it’s an agency that is top heavy with management and refuses to hire enough law enforcement park rangers to adequately patrol the remote areas where this American Indian sites are found. The NPS could do it with the money it has from Congress but the agency would rather keep the staffs up in regional offices and the DC headquarters than invest in personnel who will protect the nation’s heritage.

    The Inspector General of the Dept of Interior 15 years ago was scathing in his investigation report and said the NPS had to hire at least 600 more rangers just for the rangers’ safety(park rangers of the NPS are by far more likely to be killed or injured as a result of an assault than any other federal law enforcement agency: 15/1000 whereas DEA is 1.2/1000 and the FBI is 1.1/1000)

    I am very glad this area is being protected by national monument status but the NPS needs to be ordered to redirect its appropriations toward protecting the natural and cultural resources from providing well paid office jobs with no meaningful function.

    "Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian..."