Bears Ears’ plan prioritizes tribal collaboration, conservation

By Scott Streater | 03/11/2024 02:04 PM EDT

A coalition of tribes worked with federal agencies on the proposed management plan for the Utah national monument.

Bears Ears - Moon House

The Moon House at Bears Ears National Monument, one of the most prized of the site’s ancient cliff dwellings. Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management/Flickr

The Biden administration and a coalition of Native American tribes have devised a proposal to manage the Bears Ears National Monument that emphasizes tribal input and knowledge in protecting the natural and cultural resources at the remote Utah site.

The proposed plan for the 1.35-million-acre national monument, detailed in a draft environmental impact statement that the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service released late Friday, marks the first time the two federal agencies have worked with Native American tribal leaders as equal partners to develop a resource management plan for a monument site.

The proposal they came up with would ban recreational target shooting, limit off-highway vehicle use, and implement strict visual resource designations to limit light pollution and “preserve or retain the natural landscape character.”


But it would also allow hunting inside the national monument, as well as most camping and hiking activities.