Bears Ears National Monument

Bears Ears National Monument, 201,876 acres (81,696 hectares), SE Utah; est. 2016. Named for prominent twin buttes, the national monument as proclaimed by President Obama was more than six times larger (1,351,849 acres/547,074 hectares) and contained an estimated several hundred thousand archaeological sites and many areas sacred to several Native American tribes as well as fragile wildlife habitat, set in a rugged landscape of desert mesas, sandstone canyons, and forested highlands. The severe reduction ordered (2017) by President Trump was supported by those in Utah who had opposed the designation of the extensive monument (and attacked by monument supporters), but the presidential authority to order the reduction was unclear, and the move was challenged in the courts.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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