Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Robert Bonnie are coming to Bluff on Saturday, July 16th for a public listening session on different proposals to protect public lands in the area. Secretary Jewell and Under Secretary Bonnie will be accepting public comments regarding proposals for a Bears Ears National Conservation Area or a Bears Ears National Monument.
For those wishing to attend the meeting, it will be held at the Bluff Community Center (4th East and Mulberry) from 1-4 pm on the 16th. There will be light refreshments and entertainment.
The public meeting will focus on two particular proposals: the Public Lands Initiative legislation spearheaded by Utah Representative Rob Bishop that is proposing a Bears Ears National Conservation for the area and a Bears Ears National Monument proposed by a unique coalition of 5 Native American Tribes. This coalition, the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, is asking President Obama to use the Antiquities Act to create the National Monument. Both proposals seek to protect an area that is rich in prehistoric archaeology and sacred to Native American Tribes and Pueblos.
The Bears Ears is a large landscape that encompasses many popular recreation areas including Comb Ridge, Cedar Mesa, Arch Canyon and Indian Creek. It is named after its two central twin buttes that look like Bears Ears and hold great significance to many Native Americans. The Bears Ears is famous for the cliff dwellings and rock art left by Ancestral Puebloans and other prehistoric peoples.