Leonardo DiCaprio asks fans to sign petition to create Bears Ears national monument in Utah

Posted at 3:20 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 17:27:31-04

A hotly debated issue regarding public land use in Utah has caught the attention of a Hollywood A-lister, as Leonardo DiCaprio urged his fans Tuesday to support a petition calling on President Obama to designate a national monument in the Bears Ears area of Utah.

The same day that a crowd rallied against the proposed monument at the Utah State Capitol, DiCaprio posted a link to a petition supporting its creation on his verified Facebook page.

The post states: “Join the unprecedented unity of the five Native American tribes, Ute Mountain Ute, Navajo, Zuni, Uintah & Ouray Ute, and Hopi, who are leading the way in protecting 2 million acres of public lands called Bears Ears in southeastern Utah. Take action and help Protect Bears Ears now.”

San Juan County Commissioner Rebecca Benally said last month she believes “special interest groups” are pressuring Native Americans to support the proposal, even though she claims many members of the Navajo Nation do not support the monument.

“There’s intimidation, harassment, bullying and the tactic of divide and conquer that is being used against my people, Navajo against Navajo, Native Americans against Native Americans,” Benally said at the Utah State Capitol April 20.

The post included a link to a petition. DiCaprio is no stranger to making statements on behalf of the environment, as he gave a speech regarding climate change while accepting an Oscar for his role in “The Revenant.”

Another rally at the Utah State Capitol was held Wednesday, this time in support of the monument.

Click here for FOX 13 News’ previous coverage of the debate over Bears Ears.