Southwest Sampler: Bear's Ears National Monument and the 1906 Antiquities Act

Jan 4, 2017

KSUT contributor and history professor Andrew Gulliford teaches the Antiquities Act in some of his classes at Fort Lewis College. We interviewed him recently about Bear's Ears. He also offers his opinions of the politics surrounding the declaration.

The Bear's Ears, namesake of the newly created 1.35-million-acre national monument in southeast Utah.
Credit Courtesy of Andrew Gulliford

Last week, President Obama used a century-old law known as The Antiquities Act to declare more than a million-acres of land in southeast Utah as Bear's Ears National Monument.

The Antiquities Act, when it was established 110 years ago, was the first law to protect archaeological sites on public lands by declaring them 'public resources.'

It's been used to create what became Grand Canyon National Park, Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, and, recently, Chimney Rock National Monument.

What is the Antiquities Act and how does it protect natural and archaeological resources? We turned to Fort Lewis Professor of History Andrew Gulliford, who teaches the act in several of his courses.

In this audio essay recorded as part of KSUT's Southwest Sampler series, Gulliford talks about the history of the act, and how it's applied.