Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Our overflight of Grand Staircase-Escalante examined cultural sites that are sacred to the Hopi people, along with impacts to the landscape from mining and grazing, threats the BLM must take into consideration as the National Monument's management plan is formed.
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) was originally signed into existence September, 1996 by President Bill Clinton, creating protections for countless cultural and archeological sites. In 2017, President Trump removed nearly a million acres from the GSENM. This proclamation significantly increased the threat of mining within the original GSENM boundary, with re-filing of expired mineral claims and a mining company's acquisition of the Colt Mesa area for hard mineral extraction.
But, with new administration came restored protection! On October 8, 2021, President Biden restored protection for GSENM. Abundant cultural resources, sacred lands, and areas deeply valued by the Hopi, Zuni, Dine/Navajo, San Juan Southern Paiute, Kaibab Paiute, Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, Jemez Pueblo, and Acoma Nations are once again protected. The restoration also safeguards the delicate desert ecosystem and wildlife. EcoFlight and our partners will continue working to ensure that ecological and cultural values are protected and managed for future generations.