Since April 2015, I have been working on a book, Voices from Bears Ears: Seeking Common Ground on Sacred Land, which will be available Fall 2018 from the University of Arizona Press. Visit BearsEarsCountry.com to learn more. Here is a brief overview:
In late 2016, President Barack Obama designated 1.35 million acres of land in southeast Utah as Bears Ears National Monument. Rich in history and unsurpassed in natural beauty, Bears Ears is at the heart of a national debate over the future of public lands.
In Voices from Bears Ears: Seeking Common Ground on Sacred Land, writer Rebecca Robinson and photographer Stephen Strom capture the passions of those on opposing sides of the Bears Ears battle. Native American tribes seek to protect sacred ancestral lands; a coalition of conservation-minded citizens and organizations have supported them. Those who oppose the monument see a federal "land grab" that threatens to rob local people of an economic future by limiting income from ranching and mining. What unites these individuals is a reverence for a homeland that defines their cultural and spiritual identity. Therein lies hope for finding common ground.
The story of Bears Ears speaks to the cultural cross-currents that roil our times: the struggle to maintain tradition and culture in the face of a rapidly changing world, the lines we draw to define and defend what is ours, the ties that bind us together, and the fear that threatens to tear us apart. It is a story of the pain of past injustices, and the efforts to heal age-old wounds to create a shared future.
Read an excerpt from Bears Ears Country here.