Praising the Proclamation of Bears Ears National Monument

Since the early 1980s Southern Utah has been a kind of spiritual home for me. The “Colorado Plateau” is actually the proper geographical name for this vast red rock region that ranges from the Grand Canyon in the south, Zion National Park in the west, and the wild canyonlands around Moab in the east. It’s truly a magical land.

Although we live 300 miles away in Boulder, Colorado most of the year, my family and I also have an off-the-grid retreat in Utah (shown above)—five acres in Castle Valley where we frequently get away from it all. So I was naturally overjoyed yesterday when I learned that President Obama has proclaimed The Bears Ears National Monument.

vog-heisey-1024x1534-jpg-525x525_q70The northern border of this massive new National Monument is less than 20 miles away from our place in Castle Valley (as the crow flies). And I have had many adventures in this remote and exquisite area over the last few decades.

As you can see in these photos, the sacred land now encompassed by the new Bears Ears Monument is a North American treasure of beauty and solitude. I’m very grateful to President Obama and know that this act will, in time, be recognized as an important part of his legacy. I thus encourage all of you to come to Southern Utah to experience the spiritual energy of this unique and special place.



Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Lockhart Basin, seen south of the Colorado River, falls within the boundary of the proposed Bears Ears region in southeastern Utah, which is subject to a possible National Monument designation by President Obama under the Antiquities Act for protection. EcoFlight recently flew journalists, tribal people and activists over the northern portion of the proposed 1.9 million acre site in an effort to push for permanent protection from impacts caused by resource extraction and high-impact public use.