Bears Ears National Monument | KUER 90.1

Bears Ears National Monument

Photo of Bears Ears Buttes.
KUER File Photo

Friday evening, July 31, 2020

Photo of Utah Olympic Park.
Brian Grimmett / KUER

Thursday morning, Feb. 27, 2020

an ancient stone structure nestled inside a red rock cliff
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

MONTICELLO — Planning for the shrunken Bears Ears National Monument is moving forward, despite protests from the tribes involved in the monument’s designation. 

Photo of the Jordan River.
Brian Albers / KUER

Friday evening, Feb. 14, 2020

Photo of Bears Ears Buttes.
KUER File Photo

Updated 11:33 a.m. MST 2/15/2020

The recently released management plans for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments, already slammed by tribes and environmentalists, may also violate federal law, according to a new law review article by two University of Utah researchers. 

A field of sagebrush glows in the morning light. A mesa rises in the background.
David Fuchs / KUER

Listen to the story here.

KANAB — As the debate over public lands management intensifies under the Trump administration, Grand Staircase Escalante and Bears Ears have become household names. 

Photo of a man hiking
Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

Southern Utah’s red rock desert is home to towering canyons and the clear, shallow Escalante River. It’s also home to many ancient petroglyphs. Jonathan Paklaian is trying to find one along the banks of the river. He scrambles along a cliff wall until he spots it — a petroglyph he says was drawn more than 800 years ago by the Indigenous Fremont people. 

Photo of Bears Ears Buttes.
KUER File Photo

Updated 2:24 p.m. MST 2/6/2020

In the face of ongoing litigation from tribes and conservation groups, the Trump administration has finalized plans to expand drilling, mining and grazing across southern Utah — including within the former bounds of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. 

Photo of Bears Ears Buttes.
Erik Neumann

Legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s reduction of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments may move forward, now that a federal judge has denied the Trump Administration’s requests that the cases be dismissed. 

Photo of William Perry Pendley.
U.S. Department of the Interior

The newly-minted head of the Bureau of Land Management is defending himself after attracting the ire of environmental groups. They are concerned about potential conflicts of interest and his views on public lands. 

Photo of dancers performing the "Buffalo Dance" at Bears Ears.
Russel Daniels for KUER

BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT — Dressed in elaborate headpieces made to resemble bison heads, two Pueblo men circled and lunged at each other, their white moccasins kicking up red dirt from the ground. 

As the sun climbed high in the sky, they performed a traditional dance honoring the bison. The ceremony, which is usually held in winter, was the last in an hour-long ceremonial dance to celebrate the Pueblo people’s homecoming to a landscape where their forebears once dwelled. 

Photo of White Mesa Mill in Blanding, Utah
Flickr Creative Commons / Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Uranium mines in Southeast Utah will remain idle — for now — as President Trump has delayed a decision to impose a buy-American quota on U.S. nuclear producers that would have bolstered domestic mining. 

Photo of Grand Staircase.
Nate Hegyi / KUER

The Trump administration is responsible for the largest reduction of federally protected land in U.S. history after it shrunk two national monuments in Utah, according to a recent study published in the journal Science.

Photo of Bluff Mayor Ann Leppanen and Bluff Town Councilman Brant Murray standing in redrock country.
Judy Fahys / KUER

BLUFF — This recently incorporated town in San Juan County is facing a new test of newfound political clout as a solar farm is being proposed inside the disputed boundaries of the original Bears Ears National Monument.

Photo of cows.
Judy Fahys / KUER

Colorado residents Rose Chilcoat and her husband, Mark Franklin, were leaving southeastern Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument after a camping trip in April 2017 when they were pulled over by three cowboys in a pickup truck.

Photo of U.S. House Natural Resources Committee hearing 3/13/19.
Screenshot U.S. House of Representatives

The power struggle over the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments continued Thursday in Washington, as supporters and opponents told their stories during a hearing about the impact of the Trump administration’s decision to shrink the monuments.

Photo of U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva
Judy Fahys / KUER News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The new chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee said he expects Congress to investigate the Trump administration’s decision to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments in southern Utah.

Photo of commissioners.
Judy Fahys / KUER

MONITCELLO — San Juan County reached an historic milestone earlier this month when a Native American majority assumed control of a county’s governing body — a first for Utah.

Renee Bright / KUER

Sen. Orrin Hatch will retire next month, winding down a political career spanning four decades ... longer than any elected official in Utah's history. The 84-year-old will likely be remembered for his role in bruising Supreme Court nomination battles, passing the Children's Health Insurance Program and funneling millions of dollars back to Utah.

But this week, KUER is remembering lesser known parts of Hatch's legacy. 

 

Few, if any, would call Orrin Hatch an environmentalist.

Photo of Cedar Mesa.
Judy Fahys / KUER

A judge ruled Monday that a federal court in Washington, D.C. — not Salt Lake City — will decide whether it was legal for the Trump administration to shrink two national monuments in southern Utah.

Erik Neumann / KUER

BLUFF, Utah — Chop saws buzzed as volunteers painted the bathrooms Monday inside the old Silver Dollar Bar, giving the historic town watering hole on the edge of what was until recently Bears Ears National Monument a welcome makeover.

U.S. Department of Interior

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management appears to be backing away from proposals that could call for selling land parcels removed from the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument after agency officials realized the Interior Secretary objects to selling former monument lands.

Howard Berkes / NPR

The Bureau of Land Management has issued draft proposals outlining the uses the federal government wants to allow in the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments in southern Utah.

JUDY FAHYS/KUER News

The latest battle over Utah’s shrunken national monuments has been playing out this week in rural communities. 

Austen Diamond / KUER

A bill encouraging that the creation of national monuments in Utah be decided by Congress, instead of the President, cleared the legislature on Thursday.

Utah’s Republican-controlled Legislature have taken a first step towards renaming hundreds of miles of scenic roads after President Donald Trump.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

Potential energy resources were a big reason behind shrinking two national monuments in Utah, according to a New York Times article on Friday.

Judy Fahys/KUER

WASHINGTON — The changes proposed for what used to be the Bears Ears National Monument continue to divide Native Americans.

Screenshot/Youtube

What if the fighting over public lands in San Juan County stopped and people started talking about solutions to conserve the land? That was a proposition floated at a hearing of the U.S. House Federal Lands Subcommittee yesterday. 

Whittney Evans/KUER

Disputes over Native American territory are an ongoing struggle in Utah. The city of Myton, in Duchesne County, is ground zero in such a dispute.

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