Lawsuit and management plan updates:
Bears Ears, Grand Staircase lawsuits will stay in D.C. as judge rejects Trump administration motion to move them to Utah
Trump Loses Ground to Environmentalists in Utah
An update on Bears Ears management plans
Today is the final day for the public to submit comments on the BLM's management plans for the Trump administration's much-reduced Bears Ears National Monument. Groups such as Utah Diné Bikéyah(UDB), a Native-led nonprofit whose advocacy for the protection of Bears Ears led to the creation of the original monument proposal by Native American tribes, has urged its supporters to participate.Read More
Lots of news on the Bears Ears beat:
Following the brouhaha over President Trump’s rescinding Bears Ears and replacing it with two much smaller designations, lawmakers on the House Natural Resources Committee are seeking to use their power to create new monuments through the legislative process - a method much preferred by many Republicans who view monuments established by a presidential proclamation as "federal/executive overreach."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
Reverence for nature and a calling to take from the earth only what is needed is enshrined in Mormon theology, and, on a personal level, Anglo-Mormon residents of San Juan County express a deep spiritual attachment to the canyons, rivers, mesas, and wide- open spaces of their homeland. Nonetheless, the anti-environmentalist stance of Utah’s most outspoken politicians, many of whom are also members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) has led many not unfamiliar with LDS teachings to assume Mormons in rural Utah lack strong ties to the land or an ethos of environmental stewardship. Yet as is often the case with religion, the tension lies between doctrine and how its adherents choose to interpret it.Read More
It is impossible to understand the complex blend of cultures, the powerful connection to the land, and the political landscape that informs the Bears Ears debate without an awareness of the deeply held religious beliefs of Natives and Mormons.
To Native Americans in the Bears Ears region and indigenous peoples around the world, the earth is a living, breathing entity: a nurturer, life-giver, and beloved family member to be treated with unconditional respect.Read More
The county is the poorest in the state, and revenues from extractive industries and ranching are declining while the infrastructure needs are significant. The toxic mix of strong emotions and deep uncertainty make progress on an inclusive and sustainable economic development plan problematic at best. Will leaders find a way to put politics aside and rise to the challenge?Read More
“The recreation economy is coming to San Juan County,” says Korenblat, who owns Western Spirit Cycling in Moab. “They can do all they want to try to stop it, but it’s already happening. What they do have the opportunity to do is to shape it and control it and turn it into what they want it to become.”Read More
This exhibit draws together both a visual evocation of a newly declared national monument – Bears Ears, at the heart of the Colorado Plateau – and the voices of those who have fought to shape its future.
We are honored to have Stephen Strom, Eric escheenie, and Alfred Lomahquahu join us at Gallery 4 in the Gilbert Museum to discuss Bears Ears on Tuesday, October 10 from 6pm to 8pm.Read More
As with any place worth exploring, it is impossible to quantify the beauty of San Juan County’s landscapes, or the richness of its indigenous and Anglo cultures. But the debate over the designation of Bears Ears National Monument encompassed more than just the county’s ineffable qualities; it brought to the fore the county’s economic struggles, and how choices its leaders make in the near future could help or hinder its fortunes for years to come.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 shock, confusion, anger, and grief felt and expressed by many Americans post-election was coupled (for some) with a realization of the essential need to reach across ideological and cultural divides to find common ground. The battle over Bears Ears illustrates the wrenching difficulties facing those who try to reconcile differences among groups with diametrically opposed views on many issues. In San Juan County, those differences are amplified by complex and oft-painful history laden with racism, religious persecution, and conflicts over land ownership and stewardship.Read More