Utah - Bears Ears National Monument

State: Utah
Region: San Juan County



The 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument was proclaimed by President Obama on Dec. 28, 2016. It is a landscape of deep, carved canyons, long mesas, inspiring arches, and arresting red rock formations. The monument’s namesake, the Bears Ears, are twin buttes in the heart of the landscape that rise high above the piñon-juniper forests and canyons that adorn the renowned and majestic Cedar Mesa. It lies in Southern Utah, north of the Navajo Nation and the San Juan River, east of the Colorado River, and west of the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. Bears Ears is adjacent to Canyonlands National Park and is every bit the equal of Canyonlands and the other great parks and monuments of the Colorado Plateau.

(Excerpt from BearsEarsCoalition.org)



The Bears Ears National Monument is a place rich in history and culture. It is a place to connect, a place to heal, and a place where Native American traditional knowledge can be explored and nurtured so that it continues to inform and illuminate modern life. The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, a consortium of five sovereign Indian nations — the Hopi, Navajo, Uintah & Ouray Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni — for years has spearheaded the effort to conserve the area in order to protect this extraordinary place for Native Tribes, all Native people, and the nation.

The monument proclamation created a joint management plan for the area with the BLM, Forest Service and a commission that is made up of elected officials from the coalition’s five tribes and will integrate traditional and historical knowledge into management decisions. This type of co-management is unprecedented for tribes, and for ancestral lands that lie outside their reservations.

In April 2017 President Trump ordered Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke to review 27 national monuments created since 1996 and in August, Mr. Zinke delivered a report to the president suggesting changed to the boundaries of several of those monuments. In December Mr. Trump reducede the size of Bears Ears National Monument by 85%. The move prompted multiple lawsuits from tribes, conservation groups and outdoor retailers.


Now the Interior Department is rushing agressive management plans, advancing the interests of corporations over the preservation of cultural and bilogical lands in the areas cut out by the illigal reduction of the monuments. The public has until November 15th to comment on the management plan. Click here to submit your comment.

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