Protect the Future of Climbing at Bears Ears

We need your help to protect the future of climbing at Bears Ears.

The U.S. Department of Interior is moving quickly in an attempt to codify the illegal 85% reduction of Bears Ears National Monument by developing a management plan for the reduced monument units.

This planning process is premature, and the issue of the monument reduction needs to be settled in court before the BLM proceeds with development of a management plan. Access Fund and many climbers submitted comments during the scoping phase of this premature process, and now we must voice our concerns regarding the DRAFT Bears Ears National Monument Management Plan (MMP) moving forward.

  • First, and most importantly, the planning process itself is premature. The BLM is not ready to develop this MMP, as they must wait for ongoing litigation to determine the permanent boundaries of the National Monument.
  • Both the original Bears Ears National Monument proclamation and the illegal reduction proclamation mandate that the BLM establish an advisory committee to inform the entire planning process and provide counsel on future National Monument management. The BLM neglected to establish this committee prior to initiating the planning process, and instead the administration just recently announced the nomination process for the advisory committee after the draft MMP was already released.
  • The Inter-Tribal Coalition, which represents the five Native American Tribes tied to the Bears Ears landscape (and was largely responsible for the National Monument in the first place), has not been adequately included in the development of the draft MMP. Our friends in the Native American community supported climbers by helping us get “rock climbing” specifically acknowledged as a valued activity in the original Bears Ears National Monument Proclamation, and we need to voice our support for the intrinsic connection between the Native American community and the Bears Ears landscape.
  • The BLM’s preferred alternative in the current draft MMP (Alternative D), could heavily restrict climbing on “hoodoos” due to a proposal to prohibit fixed anchors to ascend and descend freestanding rock formations. This proposal is a direct threat to climbing on several established towers.

The future of climbing in the Bears Ears region—including Indian Creek and many world-class desert towers and cliffs—depends on your participation! Please take five minutes to submit your comments on the draft Bears Ears National Monument Management Plan using our easy letter-writing tool below. Enter your information below, then continue to a letter-writing tool with suggested talking points. Comments are due by November 15th, 2018.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Burr