Tribal leaders and feds re-establish Bears Ears Commission

President Joe Biden restored two sprawling national monuments in southern Utah, reversing a decision by President Donald Trump that opened for mining and other development hundreds of thousands of acres of rugged lands sacred to Native Americans.

By

National News

June 21, 2022 - 2:35 PM

Sandstone formations are shown here in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on May 11, 2017, outside Escalante, Utah. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and newly created Bears Ears National Monument were enacted around the same time. (George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Federal officials and tribal nations have formally re-established a commission to oversee land management decisions at a national monument in Utah — among the first such joint governance agreements signed by Native Americans and U.S. officials.

Leaders from agencies including the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service met with representatives from five tribal nations Saturday to sign a document formalizing the Bears Ears Commission, a governing body tasked with day-to-day decisions on the 2,125 square-mile Bears Ears National Monument.

In 2021, President Joe Biden restored two sprawling national monuments in southern Utah — Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante — reversing a decision by President Donald Trump that opened for mining and other development hundreds of thousands of acres of rugged lands sacred to Native Americans and home to ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs.

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