“Every conservation battle has to be fought over and over again,” says Stephen Trimble. Right now, environmental activists in Utah are working to restore full protections to two national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, both of which have been massively reduced by the Trump administration.
For today’s episode, we learn about the Native history of this area and the ongoing fight for Utah’s public lands with Stephen Trimble, Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, and Alastair Bitsoi, all contributors to the collected volume Red Rock Stories: Three Generations of Writers Speak on Behalf of Utah’s Public Lands, which was originally delivered as a chapbook to members of Congress.
Stephen Trimble is a Utah-based photographer, writer, and activist. He has served on the boards of Wild Utah Project and Utah Interfaith Power & Light, and is currently a member of the Grand Staircase Escalante Partners. He co-compiled the essay collection Testimony: Writers of the West Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness (Milkweed, 1996) with Terry Tempest Williams and is the editor of Red Rock Stories: Three Generations of Writers Speak on Behalf of Utah’s Public Lands (Torrey House Press, 2017).
Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk is a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe and an environmental advocate. She is a former co-chairwoman of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and a Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe council member. She currently serves on the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs.
Alastair Bitsoi is communications director at Utah Diné Bikéyah, a nonprofit that works toward the healing of people and the Earth by supporting indigenous communities in protecting their culturally significant ancestral lands, including Bears Ears National Monument. He holds a master of public health from NYU and is an award-winning news reporter for Navajo Times.