“At Bears Ears We Can Hear the Voices of our Ancestors in Every Canyon and on Every Mesa Top”: The Creation of the First Native National Monument

50 Ariz. St. L.J. 317 (2018). Charles Wilkinson.

On December 28, 2016, President Barack Obama proclaimed the Bears Ears National Monument. It is glory country. This classic Southwestern landscape of canyons, mesas, mountains, and redrock formations is every bit the equal of national parks such as Canyonlands, Arches, Zion, and Capitol Reef. The distinctive Bears Ears Buttes rise to an elevation of 8,700 feet and are visible for forty to sixty miles in every direction. Leading Western writer Wallace Stegner wrote that the wonders of the Bears Ears country “fill up the eye and overflow the soul.” At 1.35 million acres in southern Utah, it is the second largest national monument in the contiguous forty-eight states and the District of Columbia.

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