File under Delicious Irony: San Juan County has launched a splashy new campaign, “Make it Monumental,” which highlights the county’s spectacular public lands and the national monuments within its borders. This is the same county whose elected officials have loudly opposed the creation of Bears Ears National Monument and supported the efforts of Utah’s congressional delegation to abolish the Antiquities Act - the same law that allows presidents to establish (you guessed it) national monuments.Read More
Hello, Readers! After a sleepy start to summer on the Bears Ears beat, controversies are once again blazing like so many wildfires burning across the West. Here are the top stories from Bears Ears country:Read More
Two weeks of updates for the price of one! Here's what you may have missed on the Bears Ears beat:
Utah Rep. John Curtis, who represents residents of the Bears Ears region, has gotten an earful from constituents and politicians on both sides of the aisle who either love or hate his "Bears Ears bill." (The bill, which would memorialize the reduction of the Bears Ears National Monument, is explained more fully here.) The venerable San Juan Record covered a community meeting in San Juan County in which Curtis at turns explained and defended his bill before admitting it was likely as good as dead.Read More
Outside has done consistently solid reporting on all things Bears Ears and public lands. Don't let the fatalistic URL fool you: this piece takes a clear-eyed look at the opening of lands formerly within Bears Ears National Monument to resource extraction, and explains why we're unlikely to see an "1800s-style land rush" bonanza anytime soon.
“Land grab.” “Local people.” “Left behind.”
These are some of the words and phrases that opposing sides have wielded as weapons against one another in the battle for the future of Bears Ears National Monument. In the weeks since President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Order shrinking Bears Ears by 85 percent and reducing another controviersial Utah monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante, by nearly half, the rhetoric has reached a fever pitch.Read More
One of the greatest challenges of this project has been trying to explain what our work is about to those unfamiliar with the story we have been following for well over two years. In this blog, and with our books, we are trying to create that space to provide context that is missing from many news stories and to humanize what can be complex and wonky issues. With that in mind, let's take a whirlwind tour of the Bears Ears cultural and political landscape.Read More
Tribal leaders fully recognize both the opportunity presented by Obama’s action and the political challenges confronting them. Zuni Councilman and 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.”Read More
The red rock country of southeast Utah is distinctively dramatic, a region so striking it has become a visual shorthand for the wild majesty of the West. Its iconic scenery creates a compelling backdrop—and battleground—for one of today’s most fractious and passionate debates over the future of public lands.Read More