Tribes, federal agencies release historic plan for co-managing Bears Ears

Mar 11, 2024

The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service released a draft management plan for Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah in collaboration with five sovereign Tribal nations with historic and cultural ties to the region.

Curtis Yanito, Navajo Nation Council member and Bears Ears commissioner, said in a statement, “The draft resource management plan represents the culmination of our shared knowledge and insights, offered willingly to federal agencies for the betterment of the Monument. Our ancestors have faithfully safeguarded this land for centuries, and as collaborative stewards, we pledge to uphold this sacred duty into the boundless future.”

The draft resource management plan includes five alternatives and the federal agencies have identified Alternative E as their preferred option, which they say “maximizes the consideration and use of Tribal perspectives on managing the landscape.” Alternative E prohibits recreational shooting, allows livestock grazing almost everywhere, and designates areas where off-highway vehicle use is allowed.

“This is an exciting shift toward prioritizing Tribal knowledge in the management of our public lands,” said Center for Western Priorities Communications Manager Kate Groetzinger. “The federal government has an obligation to protect Tribal resources on public lands. This plan will help do so, while allowing for compatible recreation and public access. The BLM and Forest Service should stand confidently behind this plan.”

The BLM and Forest Service will hold seven public meetings on the draft plan during the 90-day public comment period that began last Friday.

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Quote of the day

We have always lived and traveled through these lands and used our expertise to sustain these resources. The Management Plan is a model for federal agencies to incorporate Tribal knowledge and expertise into land management plans and practices. Tribal knowledge and involvement in managing these lands is needed now more than ever.”

Christopher Tabbee, Vice Chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee and Co-Chair of the Bears Ears Commission

Picture This

Pink desert wildflowers in bloom with red rock canyon buttes in background


Spring is springing at Capitol Reef!

The beginning of Daylight Savings Time and the warmer weather draw large crowds of visitors to Capitol Reef and that in turn brings about some operational changes!

Beginning on March 10,
• the visitor center will be open daily from 8:00am to 4:30pm
• Ranger-led program schedules will expand to include guided walks and more talks

On March 14, the Gifford House will open for the season.

Be sure to check out the park website for the full calendar of events and program offerings,

Jenna Miladin Photo

Featured image: Bears Ears National Monument – Moon House. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM