As a leader in conservation, First Lite has repeatedly been asked to weigh in on the monument situation in Utah. These are obviously tricky waters to navigate, so we’ll just stick to the facts. Right now, under monument designation, we as hunters have roughly 1.4 million acres of land almost entirely accessible and open to hunting in Bears Ears national monument. In Grand Staircase Escalante national monument, we have another 1.8+ million acres.
If the boundaries are allowed to be redrawn, our hunting and recreation interests will have to contend with competing uses, including mineral extraction. So, the question we need to ask ourselves as hunters: is this worth the gamble? What we have now is millions of acres of hunting and recreation access, but if the monuments are allowed to be altered the future of those lands become uncertain.
Furthermore, we feel that the dismantling of any monument without congressional approval sets a dangerous precedent that could potentially diminish prime hunting areas across the country. Instead of looking backward, let’s look forward. The Antiquities Act has a strong bipartisan history and we cannot stand idly by as its future is thrown into jeopardy.
We are pro-hunting, pro-hunting access and pro-monument. If we have a choice between more or less land to hunt, we will choose more. As our co-CEO Scott Robinson says, “We are either for public lands or against them”, and make no mistake First Lite absolutely stands FOR our public lands.