Bears Ears National Monument Collaborative Management

Photo: Tim Peterson
Bears Ears National Monument Collaborative Management
Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition

When Donald Trump reduced the size of Bears Ears National Monument in 2017, he also excluded the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition (BEITC) from participating in the monument management planning process. As a result, BEITC self-organized and developed their own Tribally-led Land Management Plan for the Bears Ears landscape. A 2021 grant from The Conservation Alliance supported the technical editor who synthesized the individual plans from each Tribe into one master plan.

The Biden Administration restored Bears Ears National Monument back to its original boundaries on October 8, 2021. The proclamation named the Tribes as collaborative managers of the monument; however, no federal funding is allocated to support them in the planning process. BEITC is now working to operationalize collaborative management by setting out the roles, responsibilities and relationship with the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, and establishing the Bears Ears Commission. This collaborative management structure between the Tribes and the federal land managers is unprecedented, and will serve as a model collaborative management for all Native Nations.

BEITC will be working with the USFS and BLM to develop a new management plan for the monument by 2024. Conservation Alliance funding will support tribal engagement in the planning activities including site visits and meetings with agency personnel.