On December 28, 2016, President Obama used his authority under the Antiquities Act to permanently protect two new national monuments: Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah, and Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada.
As Brian O’Donnell, executive director of the Conservation Lands Foundation said, “By protecting Gold Butte and Bears Ears as national monuments, President Obama has honored Native American Tribes’ request to safeguard their ancestral lands. Bears Ears National Monument will ensure the elevated role for Tribes in management that they have long deserved.”
Tribal leaders and others in front of the Bears Ears buttes, namesake of Bears Ears National Monument. Five tribes, supported by dozens of others, came together and requested that President Obama designate the monument to protect their heritage and culture–the first time such a request has been made.