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SALT LAKE CITY — A promise made to a little girl. That's one reason why President Biden says he restored the Bears Ears National Monument to its original status. So, who was the little girl who persuaded the president to make this decision?
Gavin Noyes was at a celebration with Utah's tribal leaders in San Juan County. He was holding up his cell phone so people could hear President Biden's announcement. However, his ears perked up when the president started telling a story about a little girl who made him promise to restore the Bears Ears National Monument if he became president.
A promise from a little girl
Biden said, "She says, 'You've got to promise me you'll protect the Bears Ears,' and I was thinking, 'What the heck is the (Bears Ears)?'"
The president later realized she was referring to the southern Utah national monument, which was significantly decreased under President Donald Trump.
A huge smile formed on Noyes' face hearing this story because the little girl the president was referring to is his daughter, Bianca.
"It's not something I even remotely expected to be sitting there and listening to the president talk about my daughter," Noyes said.
Working to restore the monument
In 2019, Bianca had been working for months to make postcards calling on someone in Washington to restore the monument. And she got 100 fourth-graders in the Salt Lake City area to sign them. When Noyes heard the Biden campaign was having an event in Park City, he took his daughter to meet the president.
"She was there, delivering those postcards to President Biden and gave him some other gifts and had a really memorable day with him," he said.
Beaming with pride
Noyes said he was beaming with pride to hear the president mention the story about meeting his daughter, although he wishes she could have joined him for the tribal celebration in San Juan County.
"I wish she could be here so that she could be amazed that there was the president, in Washington, talking about how easy it was for him to restore Bears Ears because she, and so many other millions of people have asked for that protection," he said. "She said, 'Dad, I'd really like to go, but I have way too much homework.'"