Bears Ears: An elegy for what was lost?

A book of photos explores the mesas and canyons of Bears Ears.

  • The twin buttes known as Bears Ears, sacred country to all who have called the area their home.

    Stephen E. Strom
  • Comb Ridge snakes between Butler Wash, left, and Comb Wash, right, as seen from the air.

    Stephen E. Strom
  • Lake Powell looking west from the eastern end of Hole-In-The-Rock Trail (aerial image).

    Stephen E. Strom
  • Mudhills near Clay Hills Crossing.

    Stephen E. Strom
  • Mesas near Goosenecks of the San Juan River from Muley Point.

    Stephen E. Strom

Stunning mesas, secluded canyons and sacred sites leap from the pages of this colorful tribute by photographer Stephen Strom. Bears Ears: Views from a Sacred Land celebrates the landscape and urges its preservation for future generations.

Rebecca Robinson, a journalist currently working on a book about the region, introduces readers to its cultural significance and history. For millennia, tribal nations have called Bears Ears home and left their mark on the landscape. The descendants of Mormon settlers also have deep ties to the land. Today, Bears Ears is in legal limbo as the Trump administration slashes protections.

Ultimately, the book stands as either a testament to the importance of what has been saved, or an elegy to what could be lost forever. In a passionate tribute, poet Joy Harjo, a member of the Muscogee Nation, writes, “Let there be no regrets, no sadness, no anger, no acts of disturbance to these lands.”

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