Bears Ears National Monument

Bears Ears National Monument








The Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah protects one of most significant cultural landscapes in the United States, with thousands of archaeological sites and important areas of spiritual significance. Bears Ears National Monument contains two units, the Shash Jáa unit and the Indian Creek unit. Abundant rock art, ancient cliff dwellings, ceremonial kivas, and countless other artifacts provide an extraordinary archaeological and cultural record, all surrounded by a dramatic backdrop of deep sandstone canyons, desert mesas, and forested highlands and the monument’s namesake twin buttes. These lands are sacred to many Native American tribes today, who use the lands for ceremonies, collecting medicinal and edible plants, and gathering materials for crafting baskets and footwear. Their recommendations will ensure management decisions reflect tribal expertise and traditional and historical knowledge. 

Monument Management Timeline





Click on Each Tab to learn more about the Pre-Planning, Plan Developoment, and Monitoring.

What is a National Monument?

Village ruins in BENM

Under the Antiquities Act of 1906 the President is authorized to protect landmarks, structures and objects of historic or scientific interest by designating them as National Monuments. There are 129 designated National Monuments in the United States.  


What is a Monument Management Plan?

A Monument Management Plan is a document that guides the management and protection of the monument area, and the objects and values for which it was designated.  A monument plan consists of Goals, Objectives, Allowable Uses, Management Actions, and Monitoring.  Some of the unique objects and values in the monument include:

· Landscape featuresShards of rock - Bears Ears Twin Buttes (Monument namesake), mesa tops and canyons 

· Paleontological resources – dinosaur and marine fossils

· Archaeological resources – village ruins, granaries, cliff dwellings and petroglyphs

· Natural resources – rare plant species, habitat for federally listed wildlife species

Monument Planning Process

Close up of the Doll House Ruin

The BLM and Forest Service are jointly preparing the Monument Management Plan (MMP) utilizing BLM planning regulations. 

The BLM published a Notice of Intent to initiate (NOI) NEPA on January 16, 2018.  Secretary of Interior Order #3355 requires that a Final EIS be published within one year of the NOI.  A final EIS is anticipated to be completed by January 2019.

Public Participation

Public scoping meetings were held in March 2018 during a 60–day comment period. The BLM and Forest Service interdisciplinary teams are currently drafting the Monument Management Plan and the Draft EIS. A 90-day public comment period is expected to begin in late July 2018, to review these documents. Other meeting dates and times will be on the BLM or Forest Service websites.

Monument Proclamation and Maps

The 2017 Proclamation written by President Trump amended the 2016 Proclamation written by President Obama and made the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument into two separate Monuments.  Both proclamations are still in effect.

Map of new Bears Ears NM BoundariesPRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION 9681

Amended: December 4, 2017


Designated: December 28, 2016

Bears Ears National Monument Map


Monument Planning Resources

Bureau of Land Management – Monument Management Plans for the Indian Creek and Shash Jaa Units of Bears Ears National Monument

For more information about development of the Monument Management plan and upcoming public meetings visit the BLM website

Legal Notices

Sun Advocate - Bears Ears National Monument Notice - March 13, 2018

Federal Register Notice - FS- NOI - Monument Management Plan - April 10, 2018

Sun Advocate - Bears Ears DEIS Comment Period - August 21, 2018

Federal Register Notice – BLM – NOA – Monument Management Plan and FEIS -  July 26, 2019​