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SWCA to assist BLM, US Forest Service, and the five Tribes of the Bears Ears Commission with preparing a Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for the Bears Ears National Monument

On October 8, 2021, an executive order (Proclamation 10285), restored and retained the 1.36 million acres boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument in San Juan County, Utah, and recognized the importance of Tribal Nations’ knowledge and partnership in its management.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) contracted SWCA to assist with preparing a Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement that will ensure future protection and restoration of the Bears Ears National Monument.

“We are excited by the opportunity to support the BLM and US Forest Service with the protection and restoration of the Bears Ears Monument and its objects. The entire landscape is of great historic, scientific, and spiritual significance and a place of belonging for the Indigenous Peoples from the Southwest,” said Chad Ricklefs, Principal Planning Team Lead out of SWCA’s Salt Lake City office.

Cedar Mesa Citadel, photo by BLM

Bears Ears National Monument was established in 2016 by former President Barack Obama to protect the sacred landscape and unique cultural resources of the Bears Ears region. Former President Donald Trump’s executive order in 2017 reduced this protection by 1.1 million acres.

SWCA will be supporting the agencies’ evaluation of the increase in recreational demand, their determination of appropriate management to protect the extraordinary cultural landscape and the geographic subregions, and their determinations of whether special land designations are compatible with certain key management challenges including fuels management and recreation use management.

“The BLM and USFS have both been important partners for SWCA over the years. We value their trust in our experts when it comes to supporting their work to preserve and protect areas of rich cultural history and national significance,” said Joseph J. Fluder, III, CEO and President of SWCA.