Since Tribes have different histories with different pieces of land, which are the “right” Tribes to consult? And why didn’t the White House know this and take the time to consult? Of course, the Camp Hale Monument designation is an attempt to side-step Congress (we don’t actually know what part of the Monument was endangered by whom, so how important it was to “protect”?) there were probably partisan political motives and this being October, perhaps those motives were time-sensitive. Generally there’s no ticking clock for FS or BLM (or as I’ve said, why not NPS and Wildife Refuges?) Still… if the White House can’t do it right, what hope have the BLM and the Forest Service?
Here’s a story from the
However, one Ute tribe is not happy about the new designation. The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in northeastern Utah issued a press release late Wednesday saying they were only consulted a few days before the signing ceremony, were not included in the years-long and ongoing legislative discussions about the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act that preceded the designation, and will fight it, perhaps in court.
The Ute Indian Tribe’s Uncompahgre Band considers the Camp Hale area part of its traditional homeland by right and by law.
“We’ve tried to work with this Administration, but time after time they refuse to address the real issues tribes are facing,” Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee Chairman and Uncompahgre Band representative Shaun Chapoose said in the release. “Even on our traditional homelands, they refused to work closely with us. These new monuments are an abomination and demonstrate manifest disregard and disrespect of the Ute Indian Tribe’s treaty rights and sovereign status as a federally recognized Indian Tribe. If it’s a fight they want, it’s a fight they will get.”
But the Colorado Times Recorder had an interesting political take on this.. perhaps “some Tribes are more equal than others.”
Chapoose says the White River and Uncompahgre Bands of the Ute Nation were forced out of Colorado, but tribes that are still in the state – such as the Ute Mountain Utes and the Southern Utes — naturally support their state government when it comes to protecting Camp Hale.
“It works for them because they’re residents of Colorado, right?” Chapoose said. “So, politically, it’s in their best interest to be on the right side of the politics there. If somebody would pull out the actual map of Colorado, you will see who was the bands of the Ute that were in that area [Camp Hale]. And you’re going to see it wasn’t no Southern Ute or Ute Mountain Utes. It was the Uncompahgres and the White Rivers.”
The Ute Indian Tribe is a stakeholder in the proposed Uinta Basin Railway, an 85-mile connector between oil fields in the Uinta Basin that would cross tribal land. Bennet, Hickenlooper and Neguse have expressed their support for an Eagle County lawsuit challenging federal approvals for that railway, which would connect to the mainline and send up to 10 oil trains a day through western Eagle County and along the Colorado River.
“OK, so they don’t like the fact that I’m trying to have a rail to take oil and gas from my reservation to a market to generate revenue so I can provide services for my people,” Chapoose said. “They don’t like that, but at the same time, they forget, if I wasn’t removed from where I was to begin with [in Colorado], I wouldn’t be doing this anyway. So people need to remember, I didn’t choose to be removed. They made that choice for me.”
The manager of Eagle County, where Camp Hale is located, has said the oil train plan would exacerbate climate change, endanger the Colorado River and increase pressure to reopen the Tennessee Pass Line along the Eagle River and adjacent to Camp Hale.
Two of the three Eagle County commissioners on hand for Wednesday’s signing ceremony said they were not sure what impact a national monument designation would have on efforts to reopen the Tennessee Pass Line through Eagle County between Dotsero and Pueblo.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, on hand for Wednesday’s ceremony, previously declined to discuss calls for the federal government to derail the Uinta Basin oil trains. Bennet told the Colorado Times Recorder he hoped they would.
Yes, it’s the same Senator Bennet as the Tribal Co-Management letter. Yes, the Uinta Basin oil trains that the Ute want. Sigh, what does consultation mean again?
I also thought this was interesting..
In a phone interview with the Colorado Times Recorder, Chapoose said the difference is that Utah Republicans consulted his tribe prior to federal action on Bears Ears, which was cut in size by 85% by the Trump administration after being designated by the Obama administration. Biden returned it to its original size, and then some, but Utah is now suing the administration.