President Obama Declares Bears Ears National Monument

Statement by Archaeology Southwest President and CEO William Doelle

(December 28, 2016)—President Obama has, through the authority provided him by the Antiquities Act of 1906, proclaimed the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Archaeology Southwest has long urged greater federal protections in the region, and we joined the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and the Friends of Cedar Mesa in their efforts to have the monument declared. William Doelle, president and CEO of Archaeology Southwest, an Arizona-based nonprofit, shares the following statement:

“We celebrate the president’s designation of Bears Ears National Monument under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906, which was established to protect places of national cultural significance. Bears Ears far exceeds that standard—the region’s well-preserved archaeological sites and cultural landscapes have limitless scientific value, of course, but they also tell essential stories about being human that are meaningful to all people.

“With this proclamation, President Obama profoundly conveys our shared respect for the lives of those who came before, their descendants, and ourselves as Americans.”

Cedar Mesa Archaeology

Pueblo III site (A.D. 1150-1290) in the Bears Ears region. Image: R. E. Burrillo.

About Bears Ears

About Archaeology Southwest

Archaeology Southwest is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Tucson, Arizona, that explores and protects the places of our past across the American Southwest and Mexican Northwest. For three decades, Archaeology Southwest has fostered meaningful connections to the past and respectfully safeguarded its irreplaceable resources. Learn more at


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