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Well-known Moab slackliner says he took down Utah monolith

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Posted at 2:22 PM, Dec 01, 2020

A well-known slackliner and base jumper out of Moab has posted a video expressing he helped remove a metal monolith that gained fast fame around the world last week.

Discovered during a helicopter flyover, the monolith was planted southeast of Moab about a half a mile off a high-clearance, 4x4 dirt road near the Canyonlands Needles District.

READ: Mystery of Utah's disappearing monolith explained

One of the pictures was taken by Colorado-based photographer Ross Bernards, who spoke to FOX 13 Monday about watching the mysterious monument fall Friday.

The video appears to show the monolith loaded up on a wheelbarrow and being hauled out in the dark. Bernards told FOX 13 that a group of four people walked up as he and his friends were taking pictures, pushed the monolith over, took it apart and then loaded it onto a wheelbarrow and left.

Bernards said they told his group, "This is why you don't leave trash in the desert," and told his friends to, "Leave no trace," as they walked away.

The next morning, Bernards described seeing dozens of vehicles-- including many not equipped to handle the rough road conditions-- converge upon the area as people trampled through brush all over to find the monolith. Some of them, he recounted, were wandering up the wrong canyons in search of the mysterious formation.

It was in that moment that Bernards said he understood why the group took the monolith down, and he agreed with the move.

"On the night of November 27, 2020, at about 8:30pm-- our team removed the Utah Monolith," Lewis wrote, in a Facebook post. "We will not be including any other information, answers, or insight at this time."

RELATED: Mysterious monolith emerges in Romania after another disappears in Utah

The same quote is written in the description of the YouTube video.

FOX 13 reached out to Lewis through multiple platforms Tuesday, and he replied saying they released a statement (below).

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Lewis confirmed via text that he posted the video.

Sylvan Christensen, who also posted about removing the monolith on Instagram, wrote that the Bureau of Land Management has a job of managing millions of acres of land, and millions of users using the land.

He said this is their statement:

"We removed the Utah Monolith because there are clear precedents for how we share and standardize the use of our public lands, natural wildlife, native plants, fresh water sources, and human impacts upon them. The mystery was the infatuation and we want to use this time to unite people behind the real issues here— we are losing our public lands— things like this don’t help.

"Let’s be clear: The dismantling of the Utah Monolith is tragic— and if you think we’re proud— we’re not. We’re disappointed. Furthermore, we were too late. We want to make clear that we support art and artists, but legality and ethics have defined standards-- especially here in the desert— and absolutely so in adventuring. The ethical failures of the artist for the 24” equilateral gouge in the sandstone from the erecting of the Utah Monolith, was not even close to the damage caused by the internet sensationalism and subsequent reaction from the world.

"This land wasn’t physically prepared for the population shift (especially during a pandemic).

"People arrived by car, by bus, by van, helicopter, planes, trains, motorcycles and E-bikes and there isn’t even a parking lot. There aren’t bathrooms— and yes, pooping in the desert is a misdemeanor. There was a lot of that. There are no marked trails, no trash cans, and its not a user group area. There are no designated camp sites. Each and every user on public land is supposed to be aware of the importance and relevance of this information and the laws associated with them. Because if you did, anyone going out there and filming the monolith and monetizing it without properly permitting the use of the land— would know that’s an offense too."