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Tribal leaders and feds reestablish Bears Ears Commission

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SALT LAKE CITY — Federal officers and tribal nations have formally reestablished a fee to supervise land administration selections at a nationwide monument in Utah — among the many first such joint governance agreements signed by Native Americans and U.S. officers.

Leaders from companies together with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service met with representatives from 5 tribal nations Saturday to signal a doc formalizing the Bears Ears Commission, a governing physique tasked with day-to-day selections on the two,125 square-mile (5,500 square-kilometer) Bears Ears National Monument.

In 2021, President Joe Biden restored two sprawling nationwide monuments in southern Utah — Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante — reversing a choice by President Donald Trump that opened for mining and different growth a whole bunch of hundreds of acres of rugged lands sacred to Native Americans and residential to historic cliff dwellings and petroglyphs.

Together, the monuments embody an space practically the dimensions of Connecticut, and have been created by Democratic administrations underneath a century-old legislation that enables presidents to guard websites thought-about historic, geographically or culturally necessary.

Tribes have lengthy sought a bigger function of their oversight.

“This is an important step as we move forward together to ensure that Tribal expertise and traditional perspectives remain at the forefront of our joint decision-making for the Bears Ears National Monument. This type of true co-management will serve as a model for our work to honor the nation-to-nation relationship in the future,” said Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning, one of the agreement’s signatories.

The Bears Ears Commission and Obama-era joint governance plan was altered to the chagrin of tribal officials when Trump downsized the monument in 2017. The five nations, all of which were driven off land included in the monument, are the Hopi, the Navajo Nation, the Pueblo of Zuni, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation.

“Today, instead of being removed from a landscape to make way for a public park, we are being invited back to our ancestral homelands to help repair them and plan for a resilient future. We are being asked to apply our traditional knowledge to both the natural and human-caused ecological challenges, drought, erosion, visitation, etc.,” mentioned Bears Ears Commission Co-Chair and Lieutenant Governor of Zuni Pueblo Carleton Bowekaty.

In latest years, federal officers have signed different joint land administration plans with tribes, together with between the National Park Service and a federation of Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo tribes at Point Reyes National Seashore and the park service and the Navajo Nation and Canyon de Chelly.


Tribal leaders and feds reestablish Bears Ears Commission.
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