VVF Statement on the Biden Administration’s Restoration of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

October 7, 2021

Washington, D.C. — Today President Biden announced the restoration of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, honoring his promise to Indigenous communities led by the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition. In a statement, the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition said, “By taking this action, President Biden will be recognizing the deep and enduring ancestral and cultural connections that Tribes have to this landscape and taking a step toward honoring his commitment to Indigenous People by acknowledging their original place in this country that is now our shared home.” 

In reaction to the president’s announcement, Vet Voice Foundation’s Mary Kaszynski released the following statement:

"The designation of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments was something we worked to make a reality during the Obama administration. The downsizing of these monuments is something we fought during the Trump administration. And today, we applaud their restoration by the Biden administration. It’s been a long road and there’s much more to do, but today’s news is cause for celebration.

"A special thanks are in order for Secretary Haaland. As the daughter of two military veterans, she appreciates the connection between veterans and military families and our public lands. As the first Native person to serve as Interior Secretary, she truly understands the importance of protecting places special to all, but sacred to Native communities. As a public lands advocate, she fully recognizes that the Biden Administration's agenda for our public lands is supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans.

"Today is another fulfillment of a campaign promise. But we also recognize that there’s still so much to do and no time to waste. We’re excited to continue working with President Biden and Secretary Haaland to achieve our shared goals outlined in the America the Beautiful initiative — ensuring our nation’s treasured public lands are around and can be enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for generations to come."