Boundaries of Bears Ears cut by more than 85 percent, now two units
Dec 05, 2017 | 5308 views | 0 0 comments | 239 239 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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There are significant management changes for more than one million acres of public land in San Juan County after a presidential proclamation by President Donald Trump on December 4.

Instead of a 1.35-million acre Bears Ears National Monument, there are now two smaller national monuments in San Juan County, including the Indian Creek and the Shash Jaa national monuments.

See the map of the new monuments. The two units will be managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

Shash Jaa National Monument starts at the Bears Ears and runs down Arch and Mule canyons into Comb Wash. The monument includes Butler Wash, and eastern portions of Cedar Mesa all the way to the San Juan River, including San Juan Hill.

In general, the Wilderness Study Areas on Cedar Mesa are not included in the new monument.

Two Ancestral Puebloan sites are included in the monument but are not within the contiguous monument boundaries.

They are the Doll House Ruin, which is located in the Manti La Sal National Forest on Elk Ridge, and the Moon House Ruin, which is located at the top of Road Canyon on Cedar Mesa.

The new monument includes 129,980 acres of public land.

The Indian Creek National Monument includes Indian Creek Canyon starting at Newspaper Rock, and includes the Dugout Ranch, and adjacent canyons, including Cottonwood Canyon, Shay Canyon and the top of Salt Creek drainage.

The new monument includes 71,896 acres of public land.

The Nature Conservancy, which owns the Dugout Ranch, was a strong supporter of the original monument designation.

In total, the new monuments in San Juan County total 201,876 acres of public land, larger than Zions and Bryce Canyon national parks combined.

In Garfield and Kane counties, the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument was trimmed from 1,865 million acres to just over one million acres.

The maps show three smaller sections where the larger monument has existed for 21 years, including the Escalante Canyons (243,000 acres), Kaparowitz (551,000 acres) and Grand Staircase (212,000 acres) units.

The new monument boundary is still larger than the State of Rhode Island.
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