College of Law

Bears Ears – Landscape of Refuge and Resistance

Bears Ears - Landscape of Refuge and Resistance

DATE: Thursday, April 6 2023
TIME: 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm MST
LOCATION: College of Law and Virtual Event
COST: Free and open to the public
1 hour CLE (pending).
A Wallace Stegner Center Green Bag

Designated in 2016 by President Obama and reduced to 85 percent of its original size one year later by President Trump, Bears Ears National Monument continues to be a flash point of conflict between ranchers, miners, environmental groups, states’ rights advocates, and Native American activists. In this volume, Andrew Gulliford synthesizes 11,000 years of the region’s history to illuminate what’s truly at stake in this conflict and distills this geography as a place of refuge and resistance for Native Americans who seek to preserve their ancestral homes, and for the descendants of Mormon families who arrived by wagon train in 1880.

Gulliford’s engaging narrative explains prehistoric Pueblo villages and cliff dwellings, Navajo and Ute history, impacts of the Atomic Age, uranium mining, and the pothunting and looting of Native graves that inspired the passage of the Antiquities Act over a century ago. The book describes how the national monument came about and its deep significance to five native tribes.

Bears Ears National Monument is a bellwether for public land issues in the American West. Its recognition will be a relevant topic for years to come.

Free lunch for attendees who RSVP for in-person attendance.

The University of Utah Press will join us in person to sell Bears Ears: Landscape of Refuge and Resistance and Andrew Guilliford will be happy to sign books after his presentation. Bears Ears is also available for purchase online at the University of Utah press.


Andrew Gulliford is a professor of history and Environmental Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado where he has been awarded the Roger Peters Distinguished Faculty Award for teaching, research and service. Gulliford teaches popular courses on wilderness, national parks, Western history, and environmental history. He is the author of America’s Country Schools, Sacred Objects and Sacred Places: Preserving Tribal Traditions, and Boomtown Blues: Colorado Oil Shale, which won the Colorado Book Award.  He edited Preserving Western History, which was voted one of the best books on the Southwest by the Tucson-Pima County Library. His book Outdoors in the Southwest: An Adventure Anthology won the Arizona/New Mexico Book Award in the category of nature/ environment and Best Book on Arizona, as well as the Colorado Book Award for best anthology. Gulliford edited The Last Stand of the Pack: A Critical Edition, about wolves in Colorado, which was published by the University Press of Colorado.

His book The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes, published by Texas A&M University Press, was chosen the Outstanding Nonfiction winner for the 2019 Wrangler Western Heritage Awards sponsored by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. It also won the Colorado Book Award for history. His latest book is Bears Ears: Landscape of Refuge and Resistance from the University of Utah Press.

Gulliford has had led tours across the West by canoe, raft, horseback, van, cruise ship, bus/coach, private train, and private jet for the Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic Society, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Great Old Broads for Wilderness, History Colorado, Canyon Country Discovery Center, and the San Juan Mountains Association.

Dr. Gulliford has received the National Individual Volunteer Award from the U.S. Forest Service for wilderness education, and a certificate of recognition from the Secretary of Agriculture for “outstanding contributions to America’s natural and cultural resources.” For a decade he held a federal appointment to the Southwest Colorado Resources Advisory Council of the Bureau of Land Management.

Gulliford writes columns about the Southwest for the Durango Herald, the Cortez Journal, and the San Juan Record (Monticello, Utah) and he appears in history programs for “The Colorado Experience” television series produced by Rocky Mountain PBS.

This event is sponsored by the Cultural Vision Fund.

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