BLANDING — U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and members of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing in Utah on Wednesday amid a push for a new national monument in the state.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop and representatives of San Juan County, the Navajo Nation and Blue Mountain Diné are all scheduled to testify at the Wednesday afternoon hearing in Blanding.
Lee, Herbert, Bishop and other Utah Republicans and local officials oppose a monument in the Bears Ears region, saying it would be overly broad and close access to the area for development and recreation.
A coalition of tribes says the sacred Native American site 1.9 million-acre area needs bolstered protections because it’s under threat from looting and damage from ATVs.
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited the area early this month.