Bears Ears: The Tribes' Next Steps

Desert Landscape  Bears Ears Country

This piece originally published at

When Barack Obama declared Bears Ears National Monument on December 28, 2016, the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition was charged with developing a management plan in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. The Coalition saw President Obama’s decision to provide members with a major voice in shaping policies for the monument as “a tremendous step toward healing past injustices suffered by the Tribes.”

Tribal leaders fully recognize both the opportunity presented by President Barack Obama’s designation of Bears Ears National Monument and the political challenges confronting them. Zuni Councilman and Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition co-chair Carleton Bowekaty says the tribes are prepared to surmount what may be considerable obstacles to success.

“There’s going to be a lot of roadblocks, there’s going to be a lot of issues, but we have plenty of knowledge, [and] we have longevity in mind,” Bowekaty says. “Our view is long range.”