http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgWorkers on March 30 begin the process of removing old paint from the Cherokee National Capitol in Tahlequah, Okla. The nearly 150-year-old building will undergo masonry restoration this spring and summer. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Workers on March 30 begin the process of removing old paint from the Cherokee National Capitol in Tahlequah, Okla. The nearly 150-year-old building will undergo masonry restoration this spring and summer. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Restoration of Cherokee National Capitol exterior begins

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
04/02/2015 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Tribal leaders gathered on March 26 at the Cherokee National Capitol to announce that the nearly 150-year-old building will undergo masonry restoration this spring and summer to ensure the historic landmark remains a part of downtown.

Scaffolding is already in place on the south side of the building where workers will begin stripping the exterior paint and sealant, reapply mortar and replace any damaged bricks, which should result in a more authentic look for the structure.

Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism is overseeing the project at a cost of $500,000, and it is expected to be complete in August in time for the annual Cherokee National Holiday on Labor Day weekend.

“We are truly blessed to be here with the resources to protect and restore the most-photographed, the most-iconic building in the Cherokee Nation,” said Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “It’s especially a special building to the Cherokee people because it tells of our resurgence in Indian Territory to bring our government back to life when we could have gone about our way and given up, but our people didn’t give up. They went about building this building.”

The Capitol was built in 1869 and occupied by all three branches of the tribe’s government prior to statehood. Today, it houses the judicial branch of the CN. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also designated a National Landmark.

Baker said in the early 1990s it was discovered that the building was deteriorating and if something wasn’t done the bricks “would just crumble and completely fall apart.”

“The tribe was not near as successful or near as blessed then, and the only solution that we could come up with was to seal it and paint it to protect it for better days,” Baker said.

In 2013, a replica cupola was constructed to bring the building back to its 1870s appearance. Originally, the cupola was used to aid airflow through the upper floors of the building. Over time it was also used for office space as well as a jury room before being destroyed in a 1928 fire.

Other previous restoration work on the building includes roof repairs with new decking and historic era shingles, restoration of soffits and fascia, a gutter system and updated doors and windows.
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎻᎹ. – ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏗᎾᏓᏘᏂᏙ ᎤᎾᏓᏟᏌᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏅᏱ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏑᏓᎵᏁ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᏳᏅᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎯᎦᏍᎪ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏂᏛᏅᏁᎵ ᎯᎠ ᎪᎨᏯ ᎠᎴ ᎪᎦ ᎢᎦᏅᏔ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ Ꮟ ᎪᎯᏓ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ ᎠᎪᏩᏛᏗᎢ.

ᎤᏂᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎦᏳᎳ ᎤᎾᏛᏅᎢᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎦᎾᏮ ᎢᏗᏝ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎤᎾᎴᏅᏗ ᎾᏅᏕᏍᎬ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎠᏑᏫᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏓᏍᏚᏛᎢ, ᎢᏤ ᏧᏄᎶᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏤ ᏧᎬᏓᏅ ᏧᏂᏠᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏲᏨ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏥᏄᏍᏛ ᎤᏪᏘ ᏗᎧᏃᏗ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢᎣ.

ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᏂᎦᏖᏃᎵᏙ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᎾᏈᏱᎭ ᎯᎠ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎯᏍᎩᏧᏈ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᏚᏄᎪᏛ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎶᏂ ᎧᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎢᎦ ᎠᏍᏆᏗᏍᎬ ᏒᎾᏙᏓQsd.

“ᎢᎦ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᏍᏗ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎩᎭ ᎢᎩᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏗ ᏂᎦᎥ ᏓᎾᏟᎶᏍᏗᏍᎪ, iii ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Bill John Baker. “ᎾᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ ᎤᏤᎵᏛ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎨᏒ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎧᏃᎮᎯ ᎤᏍᏆᏂᎪᏛ ᎠᏤᎲᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏂᎷᏤ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᏤᎲᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᎯᏳ Ꮭ ᏱᏚᏂᏲᏎ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎤᎾᏟᏂᎬᏁᎴ ᎢᎤᎾᏁᏍᎨᎲᎢ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ.”

ᎯᎠ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᎢᏍᏗ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎤᎾᏁᏍᎨᎲ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪᏐᏁᎳ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏂᏴᏔᏅ ᏦᎢ ᏚᏩᎾᎦᏢ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏧᏂᎧᎾᏩᏛᏍᏗ Ꮟ ᏗᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬᎾ ᏥᎨᏎᎢ. ᎪᎯ ᎢᎦ, Ꮟ ᏌᏊ ᏧᏂᎧᎾᏩᏛᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᎭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᏗᏄᎪᏗᏍᎩ ᏄᏁᎵᏏᏙᎸᎢ ᏗᎧᎾᏩᏛᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ. ᎯᎠ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᏫᎪᏪᎵ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᏫᏚᏃᏪᎶᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏪᏘ ᏧᏍᏆᏂᎪᏓ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᏎᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎦᏓ ᎠᎲᎢ.

“ᎯᎠ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ Ꮭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎦ ᏳᏂᎿᎡᎢ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏱᏄᎾᏛᏁ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎣᎩᏩᏛᎲ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏍᏚᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏑᏫᏍᏗ ᎠᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏓᏤᎸ ᎢᎦ,” ᎤᏛᏅ Baker.

ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏦᎦᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ, ᎤᏠᏯ ᎤᏪᏘ ᏂᎬᏅ ᏄᏅᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏌᎾᎵ ᎦᏚ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᎵᏦᏕ ᎤᏂᏝᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎦᎵᏆᏍᎪ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᏥᏄᏍᏕᎢ. ᏧᏓᎴᏅᎲ, ᎾᎿ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᎵᏦᏕ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏃᎴ ᏂᏓᏳᏴᏍᏙᏗ ᎨᏎ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵᏁ ᎠᏲᏓᏝᎲ ᎤᏃᎸᏗ. ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎤᏂᏴᏍᏗ ᏄᏅᏁᎴ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏑᎵᏲᎦ ᏭᏂᏴᏍᏗ ᎨᏎ Ꮟ ᎾᎪᎲᏍᎬᎾ ᏥᎨᏎᎢ.

ᏗᏐᎢ ᎾᏞᎬ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏄᏅᏁᎸᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎤᏂᎳᏦᏔᎾ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏤ ᏚᏂᏒᏓᎾᎳᏛ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏤ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏪᏘ ᏗᎧᏃᏗ ᎤᏂᎳᏦᏔᎾᎢ, ᎣᏍᏓ ᏗᏤ ᏂᏚᏅᏔᏅ ᎤᏍᏗ ᏗᏯᏖᏂ ᎫᏢᏍᎦ ᏧᏯᏖᏂ ᏚᏠᏒᎢ, ᎠᎹ ᏧᏪᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎦᎶᏍᏗ ᏃᎴ ᏗᏦᎳᎾ.

About the Author
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M.

He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life.
He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association.

Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.
WILL-CHAVEZ@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M. He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life. He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association. Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.

Multimedia

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
12/12/2017 08:00 AM
TULSA, Okla. – Oklahoma audiences were treated to a special Q&A with Cherokee actor Wes Studi after screening his new film “Hostiles” on Nov. 29 during the Tribal Film Festival at Circle Cinema. “The story itself goes on to touch on the basis of the fact that we do have to come together, be it for survival or whatever,” Studi said. “It’s really a matter of survival that we bring our minds together to forge a better beginning as we move forward.” “Hostiles” is set in 1892 and follows Capt. Joseph J. Blocker (Christian Bale) as he battles hatred towards dying Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hawk (Studi) while being forced to escort him and his family from New Mexico back to their ancestral lands in Montana. The film also stars Rosamund Pike, Adam Beach, Q’orianka Kilcher and Ben Foster. Christina Burke, curator of Native American and Non-Western Art at the Philbrook Museum of Art, moderated the panel. Also participating were “Smoke Signals” director Chris Eyre and Dr. Joely Proudfit, who were tribal consultants for the film and brought in to the production to assist with creating an accurate portrayal of Cheyenne people and customs. “We were brought in pretty early on, and we were on set most of the time. I would say over 90 percent of the time, everyday on the set, both of us or at least one of us,” Proudfit said. “We had an actual Cheyenne chief come and do a blessing before we began shooting. And for a production of that caliber to take that time to allow for this culture and tradition to be a part of the process, I’ve never seen anything like that.” Studi was quick to agree and praised their efforts on the film. “(Eyre and Proudfit) really brought a lot to the table in terms of authenticity, of not only the language, but customs and other things we needed from the Cheyenne community,” he said. “I think that the film is much better off for the fact that they were there to help us.” The audience was also given a peak into the choices made during filming, including what motivated certain characters and that the cast and crew shot two versions of the ending. The panel also shared with the audience that while they have screened “Hostiles” multiple times, there are still new things to discover about its message. “This movie is a touchstone to so many ideas that we have right now in this country and that’s why I think this movie is so valuable because it’s about the gray areas,” Eyre said. “I keep watching, and I think the highest compliment to the movie is that I keep getting new things out of the movie.” Proudfit agreed, telling audiences that “you have to see it again.” “It takes time to marinate because these are such deep issues,” she said. “We’ve seen it eight times and every time we hear something new. We’ve been entertained so much with film and media now that we’re not ever asked to feel or think anymore, and I think we do that in this film.”
BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
12/11/2017 04:00 PM
VINITA, Okla. – On Dec. 5, Cherokee Nation and city officials unveiled a 12-foot-by-10-foot captioned photo as a mural in honor of the late Anna Belle Sixkiller Mitchell, a Cherokee National Treasure who revived Southeastern-style pottery. “This project started a year ago as a way to beautify the city and celebrate the historic nature that we have with the Cherokee Nation. As people drive by in Vinita they can learn more about our town and our community,” Vinita City Councilor Stephanie Hoskin said. The City Council worked with downtown store owners to find a space for the mural and with the Eastern Trails Museum for the mural’s photo. The project was funded through the city’s hotel tax. The photo depicts Mitchell making pottery in her studio. She is known for restoring the Southeastern-style of pottery back into the Cherokee culture. The tribe’s pottery tradition was not continued after removal to Indian Territory in the 1830s until Mitchell began making pottery in the 1960s. Mitchell was born Oct. 16, 1926, to Oo-loo-tsa and Houston Sixkiller in Delaware County. Several CN officials – including Mitchell’s daughter, Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez – attended the mural’s unveiling. “I saw it on the wall, and I was just blown away. It just made my heart soar because my dad especially would be so proud. He was very proud of what mom did, and if he could have been here today we would just be beaming, but I can feel what he would have felt,” Vazquez said. “Most of all, I’m just so proud of our community, the fact that we would have an idea to do this and make it happen in such a short period of time.” Cherokee National Treasure and graphic artist Dan Mink was responsible for the photo’s look. He said he was up for the challenge of designing the border and selecting the color and font. “Just thinking about what I was doing and what this lady represented, I just wanted to do a good job,” he said. “I thought the little script font that looked like a paintbrush type effect on there, I thought that, to me, it suited her well. I got the color off that vase or the pottery that’s in the picture. It was an ochre red, which is a traditional color of ours, so I took that color and made the border around it.” The mural, located at 127 S. Wilson St., will stay up until it is replaced with another notable Vinita resident who has made a contribution to the community.
BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
12/11/2017 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee National Treasures were honored by Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Business officials with an annual holiday luncheon on Dec. 4 in the O-Si-Yo Room at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex. Treasures enjoyed a lunch catered by the Restaurant of the Cherokees and received $100 gift cards and chances to win door prizes. The luncheon was hosted by CNB, which officially took on the program in 2015. “Today’s event was the annual holiday luncheon for Cherokee National Treasures. This event brings treasures together to celebrate the holidays and a special meal together where they can visit and just catch up with everyone before the busy Christmas season,” CNB Senior Vice President of Marketing and Cultural Tourism Molly Jarvis said. Tribal Councilor and Cherokee National Treasure Victoria Vazquez spoke about the day’s importance. “It’s very important because throughout the year (Cherokee) National Treasures continually contribute to sharing the art and culture and language that they have learned and used for many years. A lot of times it’s done without anyone knowing about what they’ve done. So it’s a way to pay back for their giving because a lot of these treasures are elderly and probably have been doing this thing that they do probably for 25, 30 years. This is just a small pay back for them.” CN officials spoke about the CNT program and what it means to keep the arts, language and culture alive. Principal Chief Bill John Baker said since the recognition of treasures, the value of their art has increased. “I was talking to Lorene (Drywater)…and her (buffalo grass) dolls have gone up seven and a half times, which is part of the marketing,” Baker said. “I hope that all of our art goes up in value because it’s priceless. It truly is priceless. But it’s my honor and privilege to work with you and work for you. I’m always there with an open ear, an open mind and an open heart to help you do what you do.” Jane Osti, a Cherokee National Treasure for pottery, said she came to the event to see her “treasure” friends and thinks the program is on a “good path” with the mentoring program. “I think we are on a really good path with our mentoring. I think if we continue that, we can continue our arts and language and culture. I think that everybody is wanting to work toward that, that we have a good group of people that care about it,” Osti said. Many treasures brought their “Cherokee National Treasures: In Their Own Words” books to be signed by other treasures with the opportunity to visit and take photos. For more information, call 918-207-3503 or email <a href="mailto: cherokeenationaltreasures@cn-bus.com">cherokeenationaltreasures@cn-bus.com</a>.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
12/09/2017 02:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A nonprofit public watchdog is suing Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter for refusing to release a special audit into criminal allegations connected to the state's effort to clean up heavily polluted communities in northwest Oklahoma. Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Accountability filed the lawsuit in Oklahoma County District Court Monday against Hunter and Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones, seeking the audit's release. Jones' office conducted the audit in 2011 at the request of former Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump's pick to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But after the audit's completion, Pruitt ordered it not to be released. The audit looked into suspected unlawful contracting practices of a state trust involved in a buyout of residents in the lead-polluted communities. Hunter's office declined comment Monday on the lawsuit.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
12/07/2017 04:15 PM
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — President Donald Trump's rare move to shrink two large national monuments in Utah triggered another round of outrage among Native American leaders who vowed to unite and take the fight to court to preserve protections for lands they consider sacred. Environmental and conservation groups and a coalition of tribes joined the battle Monday and began filing lawsuits that ensure that Trump's announcement is far from the final chapter of the yearslong public lands battle. The court cases are likely to drag on for years, maybe even into a new presidency. Trump decided to reduce Bears Ears — created last December by President Barack Obama — by about 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante — designated in 1996 by President Bill Clinton — by nearly half. The moves earned him cheers from Republican leaders in Utah who lobbied him to undo protections they considered overly broad. Conservation groups called it the largest elimination of protected land in American history. The move comes a week after tribal leaders decried Trump for using the name of a historical Native American figure as a slur. On Nov. 27, Trump used a White House event honoring Navajo Code Talkers to take a political jab at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat he has derisively nicknamed "Pocahontas" for her claim to have Native American heritage. "It's just another slap in the face for a lot of us, a lot of our Native American brothers and sisters," Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez said. "To see that happen a week ago, with disparaging remarks, and now this." Trump also overrode tribal objections to approve the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines. The Navajo Nation was one of five tribes that formed a coalition that spent years lobbying Obama to declare Bears Ears to preserve lands home to ancient cliff dwellings and an estimated 100,000 archaeological sites. Native Americans visit the area to perform ceremonies, collect herbs and wood for medicinal and spiritual purposes, and do healing rituals. A lawsuit from the coalition of the Hopi, Ute Indian, Ute Mountain Ute, Zuni tribes and Navajo Nation was filed late Monday night. Earlier Monday, Earthjustice filed the first of several expected lawsuits, calling the reduction of Grand Staircase-Escalante an abuse of the president's power that jeopardizes a "Dinosaur Shangri-la" full of fossils. Some of the dinosaur fossils sit on a plateau that is home to one of the country's largest known coal reserves, which could now be open to mining. The organization is representing eight conservation groups. Trump, in a speech at Utah's Capitol with the governor and other politicians, said the state's lands should not be managed by "very distant bureaucrats located in Washington." "Your timeless bond with the outdoors should not be replaced with the whims of regulators thousands and thousands of miles away," Trump said. "I've come to Utah to take a very historic action to reverse federal overreach and restore the rights of this land to your citizens." The decision marks the first time in a half century that a president has undone these types of land protections. Trump's move followed months of lobbying by Utah's mostly Republican officials who said the two monuments closed off the area to energy development and other access. Environmental and tribal groups say the designations are needed to protect important archaeological and cultural resources, especially the more than 1.3 million-acre (2,030-square-mile) Bears Ears site featuring thousands of Native American artifacts. Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch said only Congress, not the president, has the power to reduce a national monument, something that the tribal coalition argued in its lawsuit. Additional legal challenges were expected from environmental groups and outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Outside Trump's announcement Monday, roughly 3,000 protesters lined up near the State Capitol. Some held signs that said, "Keep your tiny hands off our public lands," and they chanted, "Lock him up!" A smaller group gathered in support, including some who said they favor potential drilling or mining there that could create jobs. Bears Ears has no oil or gas, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters, though Grand Staircase-Escalante has coal. Bears Ears, created nearly a year ago, will be reduced to 201,876 acres (315 square miles). Grand Staircase-Escalante will be reduced from nearly 1.9 million acres (nearly 3,000 square miles) to 1 million acres (1,569 square miles). Both were among a group of 27 monuments that Trump ordered Zinke to review this year. Democrats and environmentalists accuse Trump and Zinke of engaging in a secretive process aimed at helping industry groups that have donated to Republican political campaigns. Zinke accompanied Trump aboard Air Force One, as did Utah's Republican U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee. Hatch and other Utah Republican leaders pushed Trump to launch the review, saying the monuments designated by the former Democratic presidents locked up too much federal land. Trump framed the decision as returning power to the state, saying, "You know and love this land the best and you know the best how to take care of your land." He said the decision would "give back your voice." "Public lands will once again be for public use," Trump said to cheers. Hatch, who introduced Trump, said that when "you talk, this president listens" and that Trump promised to help him with "federal overreach." No president has tried to eliminate a monument, but some have reduced or redrawn the boundaries on 18 occasions, according to the National Park Service. The most recent instance came in 1963, when President John F. Kennedy slightly downsized Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. Trump signed an executive order in April directing Zinke to review the protections, which Trump is able to upend under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The law gives presidents broad authority to declare federal lands as monuments and restrict their use. Zinke has also recommended to Trump that Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou monuments be reduced in size, though details remain unclear. The former Montana congressman's plan would allow logging at a newly designated monument in Maine and more grazing, hunting and fishing at two sites in New Mexico. Patagonia President and CEO Rose Marcario said the outdoor-apparel company will join an expected court fight against the monument reduction, which she described as the "largest elimination of protected land in American history."
BY STAFF REPORTS
12/07/2017 12:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation is accepting grant applications for projects in Cherokee County communities with a population less than 6,000. Designed to improve the quality of life for rural Oklahomans, the program will award grants to qualified nonprofit organizations or entities of state and local government for projects that will positively impact the community in the areas of arts, culture and history; health; and libraries and literacy. The deadline for grant applications is Jan. 15. The Community Grant program supports projects that provide opportunities for rural Oklahomans to improve themselves and their communities. Earlier this year, $168,140 was awarded for 16 community projects through the grant program. Grants are available for projects serving communities with a population less than 6,000 in Adair, Atoka, Bryan, Caddo, Cherokee, Choctaw, Coal, Greer, Harmon, Haskell, Jackson, Johnston, Kiowa, Latimer, Le Flore, McCurtain, Pushmataha, Sequoyah, Tillman and Washita counties. Grants of up to $10,000 will be considered for projects serving one eligible community and/or county and up to $15,000 for projects serving multiple eligible communities and/or counties. The one-year grant may be used to create a program or significantly expand an existing program and should benefit a broad range of individuals in the community. For complete grant guidelines and application information, visit <a href="http://www.ruraloklahoma.org/community-grants" target="_blank">ruraloklahoma.org/community-grants</a>. Call Erika Warren with questions at 405-606-2920 or email <a href="mailto: e.warren@occf.org">e.warren@occf.org</a>.