Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bears Ears National Monument: Video & Links Collection

Campsite on Deer Flats Road
Bears Ears National Monument, Utah. May 13, 2016
Originally posted on Instagram:
Well, nothing to pull me out of my seven month long dormant posting period like an executive order that may lead to the removal of national monument status from some of my favorite places in the United States...

I was sort of hoping to move on from just posting about National Parks and Monuments, but not this year, it looks like!  Of course, I needed to start with Bears Ears National Monument.

Two days later, tons of research, and still no photo or video editing, I realized that I have way too much material to put up in one post on Bears Ears, so I'll be splitting it into several posts.  And I'll be following up after these with posts on some of the other monuments on the short list for de-designation.

Way down at the bottom of this post, below all the videos, is a long list of links on the area.  As for the videos themselves?  I picked a bunch...  Too many, probably!  But I wanted to cover a lot of ground...  These serve as an introduction to the monument and the issues around its creation.  I've focused on both sides of the issues, mostly from the viewpoint of area locals rather than politicians in Salt Lake City and Washington D, C.

Watching through all of these today (and yes, I did make it through almost all of them, and will get through the rest by the morning), I learned that the issue is a little more complex than I first realized, and I am very sympathetic to the concerns and fears of the locals, but I am still, overall, in favor of monument status for Bears Ears.

Yes, it is large, but there are a ton of places worthy of protection within it.  Spectacular landscapes and countless archaeological sites from a culture we still barely understand.  I recognize a lot of the local concerns, but the agencies that were running these lands before the proclamation will still be running these lands in the future, and a lot of the folks I saw interviewed seem to think the BLM and Forest Service are doing a fine job.  I wonder how much of their opposition stems from long held anti-Washington and anti-Obama sentiment as much as it does anything else.

And ranching will continue, as I know it does in Grand Staircase-Escalante...  Maybe with a bit more regulation, but let's face it, ranching on public lands is a real issue that needs to be addressed in the west, and the issues with grazing are deeper and more complex than whether the land has monument status or not.

Finally, this place isn't going to turn into a circus like Arches, at least not for a very long time.  It's one of the reasons I've fallen in love with these monuments and parks that are not run by the National Park Service.  I wrote a lot about that last fall in my first post on Grand Staircase-Escalante.

On the other hand, if Bears Ears loses its monument status, it will still be the same place, run pretty the well, from what I could see when I was there a year ago, before the proclamation was signed.  The BLM and USFS will do a fine job with the land, either way.

So how much will it matter, long run, if it is a monument or not?  Really, it comes down to the management plans taking into account the needs of the locals, no matter what happens.

Through these debates, I hope people actually take the time to learn about these lands and that the issues can be discussed on their actual merits; that if there is to be a debate, that it is a real debate, not just partisan wailing and fear-mongering, or just trying to undo what the Democrat presidents did out of nothing but partisan spite.

Now, on to what is really important, my photo!  This was taken at a dispersed campsite on the ridge east of Natural Bridges National Monument, just west of the actual Bears Ears themselves.
Click on Map to Enlarge

Video (by Others)...

The videos as a playlist...

Bears Ears National Monument

Below are the same videos posted individually...

Some cool photos of Cedar Mesa and the Slickhorn Perfect Kiva:

Many of the arguments against the monument made in the following video are countered by the proclamation document itself. Native uses, including gathering and ceremonial use, are not restricted by the monument. No one is going to freeze.

The title cards in the next video get a little snarky, but the exchanges between Senator Lee and Secretary Jewell are interesting...

BLM: Bears Ears National Monument Map (as of June 2017) - PDF


To comment on the monument review process (due July 10, 2017):


Bears Ears National Monument: A Quick Tour of a Monument at Risk

Bears Ears National Monument: Video and Links Collection



Department of the Interior:

Department of the Interior Press release on Bears Ears Monument Review (June 13, 2017)
Utah residents to Ryan Zinke: Hands off Bears Ears! (New analysis of submitted comments finds overwhelming in-state support for national monuments)

Salt Lake Tribune: 

Sources: Zinke to urge diminishing size of Bears Ears National Monument (June 12, 2017)

Op-ed: State politicians may not support our newest monument but real Utahns do (June 9, 2017)

Theodore Roosevelt IV: Bear Ears: A story of what passes and what endures

Jewell defends Bears Ears monument process

BLM yanks oil and gas leases proposed near Zion after complaints from residents

Deseret News: 

BLM, Forest Service plotting next steps for Bears Ears

San Juan Record:

Secretary Zinke recommends reduced size of Bears Ears National Monument (June 13, 2017)

Sec. Zinke to make Bears Ears recommendation (June 6, 2017)

Bears Ears National Monument designation disastrous for Utah grassroots Navajos (April 12, 2016)


Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Reviews Bears Ears National Monument (June 9, 2017)

With National Monuments Under Review, Bears Ears Is Focus Of Fierce Debate (May 5, 2017)

Utah’s Bears Ears monument is a rock star for night skies – and mineral resources

The Wilderness Society:

Photo gallery: Utah's Bears Ears region is a natural & cultural treasure

Unprecedented outpouring of support for Bears Ears shown during official comment period

National Monuments At Risk:

CLICK HERE for posts about the monuments being "reviewed" by the Trump Administration

To comment on the monument review process (due July 10, 2017):

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