Campers destroyed a 19th-century Navajo hogan in Utah by using the structure as firewood. The site is now part of the Bears Ears National Monument. Photo: Bears Ears Coalition

Navajo Nation plans to sue Trump administration to protect Bears Ears in Utah

The Navajo Nation plans to file a lawsuit to protect the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, Reuters reports.

The Trump administration has not made a decision on the boundaries of the controversial site. But Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch said the tribe doesn't want to see it reduced, as recommended by Secretary Ryan Zinke of the Department of the Interior in a previously secret memo to President Donald Trump.

"We are prepared to challenge immediately whatever official action is taken to modify the monument or restructure any aspect of that, such as the Bears Ears Commission," Branch told Reuters.

The Navajo Nation is part of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, a diverse group of tribes that sought protections for the monument. The 1.35 million-acre site is home to ancestral villages, sacred sites, burial grounds and hunting and gathering areas.

Chief Manuelito, one of the most significant leaders of the Navajo Natino, was born near the Bears Ears Buttes in 1818. He went on to sign the historic 1868 treaty with the United States after his people were forced to march hundreds of miles to a military fort in neighboring New Mexico.

Read More on the Story:
Navajo Tribe Says Ready to Sue Trump Over Changes to Utah Monument (Reuters September 21, 2017)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Secretary Zinke goes against tribal interests with monument recommendations (September 18, 2017)
Cronkite News: Secretary Zinke sends secret monument report to White House (August 25, 2017)
Richard Frias and Todd Leahy: National monuments preserve Native culture (July 31, 2017)
Navajo Nation citizen Carol Surveyor announces run for Congress in Utah (July 24, 2017)
Cronkite News: Trump's review of monuments draws 1.4 million comments (July 24, 2017)
Trump administration receives 1.4M comments on national monuments (July 12, 2017)
Loni Romo: We owe it to future generations to keep Bears Ears protected (July 10, 2017)
Lawsuits expected after President Trump changes Bears Ears boundary (June 28, 2017)
Secretary Zinke rejects complaints about consultation and Bears Ears (June 24, 2017)
Tribes lash out at Trump administration for lapses in consultation (June 13, 2017)
Ryan Benally: Bears Ears was a false promise for Native Americans (May 26, 2017)
Documents show few meetings between Secretary Zinke and tribes (May 22, 2017)
Deadline looms in Secretary Zinke's review of Bears Ears and other monuments (May 15, 2017)
Terry Tempest Williams: Will Bears Ears be the next Standing Rock? (May 8, 2017)
Tribes vow fight in effort to protect Bears Ears National Monument (May 3,2017)
Tribes encounter silence from Secretary Zinke in Bears Ears review (May 2, 2017)
Ute Tribe demands 'voice' as Trump orders review of Bears Ears (April 28, 2017)
Trump singles out Bears Ears as an 'abuse' of government's power(April 26, 2017)
Jacqueline Keeler: New monument marks victory for tribal sites (January 10, 2017)
Tribes celebrate designation of national monument at Bears Ears (January 9, 2017)