Bears Ears National Monument: A Monument for the Locals An Interdisplianry Evaluation of Tribal Involvement in Public Land Planning
thesisposted on 01.05.2019, 00:00 by Christine Kelly
Bears Ears National Monument has been at the center of a debate on how federal public lands should be managed since 2016 when President Obama designated the area as a national monument. However, tribes in the Southwest had worked to protect the Bears Ears area for years before the area was designated. Tribes had attempted to participate in the Utah Public Lands Initiative, an initiative to provide a local management proposal for federal lands located in Southeast Utah, but they were excluded from the process. Following the designation, non-indigenous locals vocally protested Bears Ears National Monument. Based on many the non-indigenous locals’ concern over the designation of the Bears Ears National Monument, President Trump, in December of 2017 split Bears Ears National Monument in two significantly smaller monuments. As a result, the five tribes who campaigned for the Monument’s creation, along with other litigants, challenged President Trump’s ability to reduce the size of the Monument. This thesis uses the conflict surrounding Bears Ears National Monument as a case study to take make an interdisplianry examination of local stakeholders interests in public land management and show the inclusion of tribes in federal public land management will not mean the exclusion of other stakeholders.