WASHINGTON — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, along with tribal, state and federal leaders, visited the White House on Friday when President Joe Biden signed a proclamation calling for the restoration of three national monuments.
President Nez shared his support for Biden-Harris’ administration in a Facebook post. He called it historic for the restoration Bears Ears National Monument located in southeast Utah.
President Nez and other tribal leaders met in April with US Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland to demand the expansion and restoration of the national monument.
Biden also signed an order to restore the Staircase Escalante Monument. Both monuments span over 3.2 million acres.
These red rock areas are sacred to Native Americans, and they contain ancient cliff dwellings as well as petroglyphs.
RELATED: Biden Becomes First President to Mark Indigenous Peoples Day
The decision is to reverse President Donald Trump’s decision to open some of the lands up for development and mining.
Trump had passed a rule change to allow commercial fishing in an area of nearly 5,000 square miles, a move announced by fishing groups but derided by environmentalists.
Trump also signed a proclamation restoring protection to a marine protected zone off the coast New England. This area had been used for commercial fishing.