Energy & Environment

Tribes to co-administer national monument for first time

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Five Native American tribes will manage a national monument alongside the federal government for the first time under a new agreement reached between the Biden administration and the tribal nations.

The tribes will work alongside the federal government to administer the Bears Ears National Monument — the size of which has been a subject of contention in recent years. 

The Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation and the Pueblo of Zuni will now share responsibility for the Utah monument. 

“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,” said Tracy Stone-Manning, director of the Bureau of Land Management, in a statement. 

“This type of true co-management will serve as a model for our work to honor the nation-to-nation relationship in the future,” she added. 

Per the agreement, both the tribes and federal government will work together to plan how the monument’s land will be used and in developing programs for resource protection. 

They will also meet each year to create an annual plan to set priorities.

The 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument was established by former President Obama in 2016. It features two buttes — large hill-like formations with flat tops — and contains an area that is sacred to tribes. 

President Trump shrunk the monument by about 85 percent, but it was restored last year by President Biden. 

Tags Bears Ears Bears Ears Monument Bears Ears National Monument Biden Indigenous peoples of North America Native American tribes Native Americans Obama Tracy Stone-Manning Tribes Trump
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