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The Watershed Alliance Presents Common Ground: The Story Bears Ears

Available in 44d 02h 27m 46s
Available June 20, 2021 1:00 PM UTC
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Watershed Alliance works to educate and engage community members to be active stewards of SW Washington natural legacy, with a focus on creeks, lakes, and other water bodies. We educate children and adults, while giving them hands on opportunities to participate in the restoration and protection of waterways.


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On December 28th, 2016, former President Obama protected nearly 1.5 million acres of sprawling canyon lands and ancient cultural sites in southeast Utah by designating the area as Bears Ears National Monument.


Politically, Native American groups and environmentalists applauded the designation. However, it infuriated some locals and state politicians who, declaring government overreach and unnecessary restrictions to the land, demanded the monument to be rescinded. As a result, President Trump signed a proclamation reducing the size of the monument by 85 percent. Environmental groups and tribal governments have responded by filing a host of lawsuits against the Trump administration.


Locally, the controversy has divided the community and riled longstanding cultural tensions. While this political debate unfolds in the national spotlight, this project seeks to transcend the rhetoric, following diverse characters living in San Juan County and their relationships with the land.


The film’s goal is to humanize this polarizing issue, depicting the deep pull within us all to connect with our wild lands. It seeks to bring clarity to the complex and divisive arguments surrounding Bears Ears, revealing the common ground between opposing ideologies: love and awe of a beloved land.

  • Year
    2019
  • Runtime
    78 minutes
  • Director
    Paige Sparks