The McCullough Family Opposes the Bears Ears National Monument


My husband grew up in Panguitch, UT, which a tiny city within what is now the Grand Staircase National Monument. It has what was then a 2A high school that draws from many surrounding communities. When his older brothers (4 and 6 years older) were in high school it offered many top arts, technology and extra curricular programs.

The monument was designated just before he began high school. Because many of the lands encompassed by the monument were trust lands owned by the school district and were rented to cattlemen to fund these programs, these programs were all cut.

Bears Ears, Trump This Monument, McCullough Family

Besides no longer being able to offer any more than common core, Panguitch High School has since dropped to a 1A school. This is because these types of communities are dying everywhere due to these types of government land grabs and the economic hardships they produce for families. It breaks my heart that my children’s schools, and therefore their opportunities, are about to suffer the same fate as their father’s.

“Rural lives matter. It’s the one minority that no politician is willing to fight for.”

My husband graduated top of his class from a top three medical school and could have done anything he wanted and made much more money, but we wanted to raise our children here, in a close-nit community with nature for our back yard. The “conservationists” that have pushed for this monument have no idea what this type of lifestyle means to the people who live here, nor the sacrifices we have all made to make this life for our children. They do not live here, they do not know what is best for this land, and they do not care about us.

“A monument designation brings far worse tourist impact to national treasures than you can imagine.”

They do not even realize the environmental impact of this designation. With no hunting, the deer will decimate the land. With no firewood harvesting, the beautiful forests will burn. A monument designation brings far worse tourist impact to national treasures than you can imagine. Locals have been good stewards of this land for generations, and nationalizing it will destroy it, and upturn thousands of lives. We cannot find this life anywhere else. Rural lives matter. It’s the one minority that no politician is willing to fight for.

– The McCullough Family
Blanding, UT

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