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Libertas: Public Land Mangement and the Battle Over Bears Ears: Assignment: Public Land Management

Overview

Public lands belong to all us and there are many stakeholders when government agencies (such as NPS, BLM, USFS) develop land management policies. After viewing the documentary, you will take on the role of one of the stakeholder groups and provide that group's interests and concerns. Afterwards, you will create a land management plan for Bears Ears that considers the interests and perspectives of each group while protecting the land persevered as a national monument.

Points to consider:
• What is the best use of the general area in regard to the overall public's interests?
• How will you protect archeological sites?
• What about in regard to protecting biodiversity?
• How does your point of view relate to the principles of multiple use and sustained yield?
      - Native American access to ancestral lands
      - Wilderness protection
      - Archeological preservation/protection
      - Ranching
      - Consideration of various recreational uses (i.e. camping, hiking, climbing, cultural sites, ATVs, etc)
      - Mining/Drilling industries
• What, if anything, can you give up or alter about your position?

Intertribal Coalition

Point of View: The five inter-tribal coalition of the Navajo, Hopi, Pueblo of Zuni, Ute, and Mountain Ute want to have unrestricted access to sacred and traditional use areas located within Bears Ears.
They want to:

  • Collect herbs and medicine
  •  Forage for food (such as piñon nuts)
  •  Gather firewood for heating and ceremonial use
  •  Hunt game
  • Be a co-manager along with the BLM in determining the use of the land
  • National monument status

They want others to have access to these areas with some restrictions:

  • No looting or desecration of ancestral archeological sites
  • No drilling or mining
  • Some ranching to be permitted
  • Minimal ATV use
  • Allow visitors to see these areas so long as they follow Leave No Trace principles and respect cultural sites

Ranching

Point of View: Ranchers lease land from the BLM and USFS for range lands to graze their cattle and other livestock.

They want:

  • To receive reduced leasing fees for grazing rights
  • Unrestricted access to the area for grazing rights
  • Deregulation of environmental laws that impact ranchers
  • Full access to water resources found in the area
     

They want others to have access to these areas with some restrictions:

  • No co-management of Native American tribes
  • Removal of environmental regulations
  • No national monument status

Archeologists

Point of View: Archeologists would like Bears Ears to be protected because it is the most significant archeological area in the United States. They want:

  • To protect over 100,000 cultural and archeological sites
  • To study and inventory archeological  sites
  • To prevent looting and desecration of the sites
  • Additional rangers to be hired to manage/protect the lands and archeology sites
  • Native American tribes to have full access and co-management of Bears Ears
  • A visitor center built for education and informational purposes
  • National monument status

They want others to have access to these areas with some restrictions:

  • No drilling or mining
  • No ATVs
  • No grazing of livestock in sensitive archeological areas
  • Allow visitors to see these areas so long as they follow Leave No Trace principles

Environmentalists/Conservationists

Point of View: Environmentalists want to protect Bear Ears rich cultural and natural resources. They want:

  • To seek Wilderness protection status in key sensitive environmental areas
  • A  visitor’s center built for information and education purposes
  • Additional rangers to be hired to manage/protect the lands and archeology sites
  • Native American tribes to have full access and co-management of Bears Ears
  • Environmental regulations enforced
  • National monument status

They want others to have access to these areas with some restrictions:

  • No mining or drilling
  • No ATVs or hunting
  • Minimal ranching

Drilling and Mining Industries

Point of View: Mining and Drilling Industries want access to public lands for reduced leasing fees to access uranium minerals and oil/gas deposits.

They want to:

  • Full access to land to drill and mine within Bears Ears
  • Purchase leasing rights for mining and drilling in order to access natural resources as the market dictates
  • Infrastructure to be built in order to access remote areas for mining/drilling exploration
  • Be given an opportunity to explore throughout the area for oil, gas, and mining
  • Reshape the original national monument boundaries in order to access drilling/mining areas

They want others to have access to these areas with some restrictions:

  • No co-management of Native American tribes
  • Removal of environmental regulations
  • No national monument status

Recreationalists

Point of View: Recreationalists  want to be able to visit Bear Ears to experience the area’s rich cultural and natural resources. The types of recreationalists vary and you will need to distinguish between the two groups. You have recreationalists who lean towards a "Leave No Trace:" approach to visiting Bears Ears and others who want full access to the monument with minimal regulations placed upon them. The two groups share some values but vastly differ in others. You will determine which groups requests. They want:

  • Recreationalists are divided on what types of groups and the types of activities they want ot partake in.
  • Some want to be able to hike, camp, view cultural sites, and rock climb and others want to be able to hunt and ride ATVs.
  • Have access to the San Juan River for rafting and kayaking
  • A  visitor’s center built for information and education purposes
  • Additional rangers to be hired to manage/protect the lands and archeology sites whereas some do not fee additional rangers are justified
  • Some want Native American tribes to have full access and co-management of Bears Ears
  • Environmental regulations enforced verses minimal regulations
  • Some want national monument status
     

They want others to have access to these areas with some restrictions but remember that their perspectives vary:

  • No mining or drilling vs some mining permitted
  • Minimal ranching vs extended permits granted
  • Wilderness designation vs no wilderness designation