Sierra Club Celebrates Bears Ears Co-Management Agreement Between Federal Government and Tribal Nations


Ian Brickey,

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Yesterday, the Biden Administration announced a first-of-its kind agreement with Tribal Nations to co-manage Bears Ears National Monument. The Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and the Pueblo of Zuni signed a cooperative agreement to strengthen the management and protection of the 1.36 million acre site.

Established in 2016 by President Barack Obama, Bears Ears was one of the first national monuments established upon the request of Tribal Nations. In October 2021, President Joe Biden restored the boundaries of Bears Ears, which had been slashed 85% by his predecessor.

In response, Chris Hill, senior director of Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign, released the following statement:

“The establishment of official protections for Bears Ears was a promise made to Tribal Nations to preserve that sacred landscape for generations to come. The Biden Administration’s announcement yesterday reaffirms that commitment, and for the first time, includes the first peoples of those lands in the decisions that will secure its future.

“Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples and Tribal Nations have acted as stewards of the landscapes they have called home. This co-management agreement recognizes that Indigenous history and Native knowledge as essential to the long-term protection of Bears Ears. 

“We are hopeful that this agreement can serve as a framework for future co-management of public lands and waters by the federal government and Tribal Nations. In this critical moment of climate crisis, it is crucial that we work together, guided by justice, to protect the lands, waters, and biodiversity we all need to thrive.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit