ROCKFORD, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2017) – In anticipation of an official announcement from the Trump administration about the future of Bears Ears National Monument, footwear brand Chaco has donated $47,000 to two charities dedicated to protecting the monument.
Earlier this year, President Trump signed an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review Bears Ears National Monument and all other monuments designated since 1996. While the administration has not made any official announcement about the Secretary’s review, which was completed in August, sources have suggested that President Trump will attempt to shrink Bears Ears significantly.
Last spring, Chaco launched a collection of limited-edition products from which 100 percent of the proceeds would support Bears Ears. The collection included limited-edition Chaco Z sandals and more. So far, sales from the collection have netted $47,000, and Chaco has split the donation evenly between non-profits Utah Diné Bikéyah and Friends of Cedar Mesa.
Diné Bikéyah is a nonprofit organization that supports indigenous communities by protecting their culturally significant, ancestral lands. Utah Diné Bikéyah was instrumental in proposing national monument designation for the Bears Ears area, which includes thousands of Native American archeological sites.
“2.8 million Americans submitted public comments, more than thirty Native American Tribes, and 98 percent of local Navajos in Utah have asked the President to leave Bears Ears alone this past year,” said Gavin Noyes, executive director of Utah Diné Bikéyah. “Protection of our public lands is about our heritage and our collective future. Thank you to Chaco and to all Americans for standing with Tribes as we defend these sacred spaces.”
Friends of Cedar Mesa is a conservation-focused nonprofit working to ensure that the public lands in San Juan County, with all their cultural and natural values, are respected and protected for future generations. Josh Ewing, executive director of Friends of Cedar Mesa said, “now is the time for all Americans, whether you’re a local like those of us in Bluff or a responsible recreationist like those from around the country who love Bears Ears, to stand with indigenous tribes for this internationally significant landscape. This outstandingly beautifully and culturally sensitive place is far too important and too sacred to be used as a political football. Instead, we should all be coming together to find practical solutions to solve the very real problems on the ground.”
A portion of Chaco’s donation will go towards the establishment of a new Bears Ears visitor center. The goal of the center will be to reach large numbers of monument visitors with behavior-changing information about how to visit respectfully and avoid damage to sensitive cultural and natural resources. Spearheaded by Friends of Cedar Mesa, the goal is to have a functional visitor center open in Bluff, Utah, for the spring 2018 visitor season.
About Chaco: Born on the river in 1989, Chaco builds premium footwear for the outdoor-minded. As a result of the brand’s proprietary LUVSEAT™ footbed, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has awarded the Seal of Acceptance to all Chaco footwear styles. The APMA Seal is intended to raise awareness by identifying products of exceptional quality that are manufactured with comfort, health, and safety in mind. Simply put, Chaco is fit for adventure. Please visit us at www.chacos.com, Facebook: Chacos, Instagram: ChacoFootwear, Twitter: Chacousa.
Chaco is a part of Wolverine Worldwide’s Outdoor and Lifestyle Group.