Originally published Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 11:16a.m.

To the editor,

I live in San Juan County, Utah. I’m Native American, my name is Nicole Wells and I am a tribal member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and of the Zuni Tribe, living in the small community of White Mesa, Utah (84511).

I want Bears Ears National Monument shrunk or rescinded.

We have no infrastructure to take on the massive amounts of tourists the greedy outdoor retailers pushed on us with the Bears Ears monument designation.

Also, Bears Ears isn’t even funded at all. What does that mean?

My kids have to be stacked with enormous debt, our country already has to pay for these monuments with my hard earned tax dollars?

Please understand that the land and the people took care of this area long, long, long before there was ever a monument.

We don’t want Bears Ears National Monument.

I just learned that former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell herself was a CEO of a private company, REI, that gains profits off the designations of national monuments all over the country.

That would make sense as to why she recommended President Barack Obama designate Bears Ears National Monument in a very undemocratic process.

In my tribe, big issues that affect all the people are put to a vote.

For some questionable reason, this issue for the monument never was brought before our eyes to vote on.

It was a very undemocratic process.

We deserve our elected leaders to actually hear our voices when we say we never wanted the national monument to begin with. However if it’s a reduction in size, then so be it.

Nicole Wells, a member of the Ute Mountain Tribe

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