Bears Ears, Utah

photo by: Lusha Evans

National Treasures

Bears Ears National Monument

  • Location: Colorado Plateau, Utah

The Bears Ears Cultural Landscape in Southeast Utah includes archaeological sites, cliff dwellings, petroglyphs and ancient roads that tell stories of diverse people over the course of 12,000 years of human history. The area—mostly federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management—lacks adequate legal protection and funding to protect its archaeological resources.

The National Trust is joining Native American tribes, conservation groups and public officials in requesting that President Obama use his Antiquities Act authority to create a Bears Ears National Monument, to provide permanent protection to this unparalleled landscape.

There are countless layers of history and significance encompassed in the 1.9 million acres of public lands south and east of Canyonlands National Park. Navajo, Hopi, and Pueblo, Zuni and Ute have sacred ties to the region. In 1879, Mormon pioneers trekked across the Colorado Plateau on what would become known as the Hole in the Rock Trail, now listed on the National Register. The area also includes one National Historic Landmark—Alkali Ridge—and hundreds of sites that have been determined eligible for listing on the National Register. This stunning and significant cultural landscape is unusually intact, with many of its archaeological sites remaining as they have for hundreds of years. The landscape and the remarkable stories it holds of migration, settlement, and adaptation draw visitors from around the world.

Campaign Goals

  • Permanently protect the irreplaceable and diverse cultural resources of the Colorado Plateau
  • Increase the public's awareness of this fragile and nationally significant landscape
  • Raise understanding of the need for more funding and better management of cultural resources on our public lands


Secure the long-term protection of a diverse array of cultural sites that span nearly 8,000 square miles on the Colorado Plateau and 12,000 years of human history.

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