Words by Arc’teryx CEO Jon Hoerauf. Photos by Justin Sweeny.
Friends and customers,
I’m certain many of you have been following the recent challenges facing America’s wild spaces, most notably the Bears Ears National Monument.
Bears Ears includes some of America’s most beautiful landscapes. Climbers travel from far and wide to climb Indian Creek’s iconic, vermillion-hued splitter cracks, boaters float the winding San Juan river and others come for the world-class mountain biking, canyoneering and skiing. The region is home to some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet and it has inspired generations of Americans to participate in outdoor sports.
Bears Ears, like all American national monuments, provides a place where we have the opportunity to respectfully explore a protected landscape. National monuments ensure the land will be protected for future generations. National monuments guarantee our children can visit the ancient sequoias in California, mountain bike the Grand Staircase, climb at the Creek and visit archeological sites in Colorado’s Canyons of the Ancients.
I grew up alongside America’s public lands, spending most summers with my family exploring Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. My first backcountry adventure took place on Isle Royale National Park – and that trip unlocked my spiritual connection with nature. These experiences helped to form my core values and it’s one of the reasons I came to work at Arc’teryx.
Arc’teryx is a collective of people committed to using our influence and resources to conserve and protect public lands. To this end, we committed $150,000 over the next three years to the Conservation Alliance’s Public Lands Defense Fund focused on:
– Defending previous presidents’ national monument designations.
– Defending USA bedrock conservation laws (ie, The Wilderness Act, Antiquities Act, National Environmental Policy Act).
– Opposing proposed transfers of federal lands to the states or to private hands.
The reason we have committed our resources to public lands is because we are at risk of losing them.
Our urgent work begins now: On May 11th, the U.S. Department of Interior opened a 15-day public comment period for individuals and organizations to weigh-in on the future of Bears Ears. We have 10 days left to tell Secretary Zinke, who will report back to President Trump on the monument’s future, why keeping Bears Ears intact is important to our community.
There is a way to save America’s national monuments, but it won’t happen unless we mobilize collectively. Now, more than ever, is time to use our voice to protect wild spaces.
The Conservation Alliance has provided two easy paths to being heard.
Click here for a one-step message to Secretary Zinke. Please personalize your message before you submit your comment:
OR, follow these steps to make comment directly on the Department of Interior’s page:
1. Click this link: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001
2. Copy and paste the comment below. Personalize your message before submitting:
As an outdoor enthusiast who loves our public lands, I support the designation of Bears Ears National Monument and ask that its boundaries remain unchanged.
For more than 100 years, Presidents of both parties have used the Antiquities Act–a tool signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt–to enact far-sighted protections for our common American inheritance. Bears Ears is exactly the kind of place the Antiquities Act intended to protect. It is rich in cultural history which inspired a historic coalition of tribes to band together to push for its designation. In addition to protecting over 100,000 archaeological sites, the designation preserves world-class recreation opportunities in places like Cedar Mesa, Grand Gulch, and Indian Creek.
The process that led to the designation of Bears Ears National Monument was thorough and transparent. For more than 80 years, decision makers from all sides presented proposals seeking permanent protection of all or part of this incredible landscape. The boundaries were informed by both the multi-year Public Lands Initiative and by a proposal from the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition. Those boundaries do not exceed the acreage necessary to preserve the rich cultural heritage, ecological values, and recreation assets.
Thank you for reviewing the decades of hard work and thoughtful consideration that culminated in the designation of Bears Ears National Monument. Please recommend that President Trump leave the current Bears Ears National Monument boundaries in place.
I’m also asking you to take to social media to spread the word.
This opportunity to protect Bears Ears is not the last time we will ask you for your support of public lands. 27 other U.S. national monuments are under review between now and August 24th. We will continue to influence protection of those wild spaces as both a brand and a long-time member of the Conservation Alliance.