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The Advisability of Designating the Bears Ears as a Monument Under the Antiquities Act

October 4, 2016
By Stillwater Technical Solutions

Advises against designating the Bears Ears area of San Juan County Utah as a national monument arguing it would violate various federal, state and local land management agreements.

This report commissioned by the San Juan County Commissioners, says establishing Bears Ears National Monument would be both inadvisable and violate various procedural requirements of federal and state law. The report finds lands desired by the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, consisting of the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, the Pueblo of Zuni tribe, Ute Indian Tribe, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, to be established as the Bears Ears National Monument do not meet the qualifications for being “public lands.” According to the report, a national monument designation for Bears Ears would pre-empt “18 established Federal, State and local land use planning efforts,” and “151,000  acres  of  Utah School and Institutional  Trust Lands, vast  areas  of  private  inholdings, including 43  grazing  allotments, no less than 661 appropriated water right diversion points, the sole operating uranium mill in the United States, multiple oil and gas production areas, and approximately 18,000 acres of patented property.”