Bears Ears National Monument Likely Focus of Feb. 5 County Commission Meeting in Monticello

There’s a packed agenda planned for the February 5 commission meeting in Monticello, which marks a dramatic shift in priorities for the newly seated commissioners compared to their predecessors.

The agenda lists five resolutions to be discussed during the work meeting that begins at 9 a.m. at the Hideout.

1) A resolution that research be undertaken to reestablish the Bluff transfer station, which served the town of Bluff and surrounding communities on the Navajo Nation until it was shut down in late 2018 following a land swap between the county and the Hole In The Rock Foundation.

2) The second resolution would schedule future commission meetings in the southern part of San Juan County. Meetings have traditionally been held in Monticello.

3) A resolution that would direct the county attorney, Kendall Laws, to “prepare a comprehensive inventory of all civil litigation in which the county is a party.” The county has faced skyrocketing legal bills over the last several years in suits related to Bears Ears, a right of way in Recapture Canyon, voting rights, and more.

4) A resolution to rescind all prior resolutions of the San Juan County Commission in opposition to Bears Ears National Monument, and a new resolution to oppose President Trump’s reductions to the monument in 2017.

5) The final resolution would end the county’s attempt to intervene in the lawsuit between five Native American tribes and the Trump administration over the cuts to Bears Ears. The previous commission supported the reductions, and sought to intervene on the Trump administration’s behalf.

The final two resolutions are expected to draw a sizable crowd to the meeting on Tuesday morning, and both anti-monument organizers and pro-monument nonprofit Utah Diné Bikéyah are encouraging people to speak out during the public comment period at 11.

The Canyon Echo will post live updates from the hearing on Twitter.