Why I Stand With Bears Ears



I tried really hard to write something but all that came out is vitriol and hate and spew.

What kills me is that these bastards have never even set foot in Bears Ears. Whether you agree with their policies or not, how can that ever be right? How can someone decide the fate of a place having never been there to see or feel it for themselves?

The climbing’s great, but the landscape and the archaeology move me primarily. God, the place just exudes “special”. It just reeks of it, drips it from the pores. The sunsets, sunrises, the rock walls, the valley floor in that light, all the light, all the red and auburn glowing everything. The living breathing ruins still screaming life. The feeling of being watched. The wind like a breath on the nape of the neck. The knowing that someone came before. The stories on the walls. The stones, the bones, the coyote yips and the wind that howls. Fuck it’s good. The red dust in your teeth and under your nails. The spirit of the place which gets into your bones. There is no other place like it. It’s not hyperbole. It’s just that good. How can these bastards have a say? How could they be in a place to sign some paper to give it away?

Is it possible to change a mind? Is that what I’m trying to do here? Chances are you’ve already made a contribution to the kickstarter for an Education Center for Bears Ears. And if you haven’t, can I really convince you?

Look, I’m not saying the Education Center is going to solve all the problems in the desert southwest. Maybe the money would be better used buying some of the land. Or buying mining leases. Or something else.

But it’s one thing you CAN do. And I think it will help.

Somewhere out there, somehow, there’s a way to instill respect for these places. I think the Education Center will help with that. And maybe that will help with everything else.

Just one thing (other than phone calls and petitions and emails) you can do.

What have you got to lose?


I can taste the sand in my teeth.
I can feel it in my bones.

Quiet, vast, empty.

The wind.
The quiet.
The silence of the stones.

These places that are old.
That panel with its engravings.
The feeling that if there is a god, that she or he or whatever it may be has been saving something to teach you.

A memory.
A vision.
A recollection.

A rock house still standing – timbers staunch and stalwart athwart the door.
A window on the world.

Mesquite. Juniper. Woodsmoke.

This tower still stands here.
This home still stands here.
This land still stands clearly for something other than the almighty dollar and a vision of progress that is too young to be wise, and sucks the world dry.

Bleached desert bones.

The sky on fire.
The land on fire.
The fire in your bones.

The desert gets into you. It’ll turn you right inside out.
Slow down.
Slow down.
Nowhere left for time to go.



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