President Obama Names Bears Ears a National Monument

President Obama Names Bears Ears a National Monument
Conservation for rock climbing earned a huge victory when President Barack Obama declared the Bears Ears region of southern Utah as a national monument last week. This marks the first federal action that acknowledges the activity of rock climbing as a valued recreational activity.

The Access Fund has been on the forefront of the political process and has devoted hundreds of hours of advocacy toward protecting the region. Rock climbing has a major presence in the Bears Ears region, with world-class destinations such as Indian Creek, Valley of the Gods, Lockhart Basin and more.

The president's national monument proclamation came after Congress failed to vote on the Utah Public Lands initiative before it adjourned on December 8. The initiative was part of the more traditional methods the Access Fund has spent the last three years attempting. Although these methods failed to make headway prior to the president's decision, they did result in a partnership being formed. While the Access Fund collaborated with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, it was found that climbing practices are compatible with the Southwestern Native American tribes' traditional values and principles in conservation. A letter was submitted by the coalition expressing its support, which may have directly resulted in the national monument proclamation.

Now that climbing is officially recognized, representatives will have a seat at the table with regional tribes and stakeholders in developing a monument management plan.

Read the official Bears Ears National Monument proclamation HERE.

A video posted by Patagonia expressed its gratitude and excitement over the president's decision:
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