Table of Contents

Charles Wilkinson
Introduction: “…the authenticity, passion, and rightness of protecting Bears Ears.”

Simon Ortiz
RIGHT OF WAY: “And so you tell stories…”

Kevin T. Jones
THE MAN WITH A HEART OF STONE: “Fremont people were farmers, builders, dreamers, and thinkers.”

Jana Richman
THE LAND OF NO USE: “Our external geography informs our internal geography.”

David Gessner
THE FREEDOM OF RESTRAINT: “The myths of western land are myths of freedom.”

Karen Shepherd
THE ONLY WAY FORWARD: “If Bears Ears is to be saved, President Obama must save it.”

Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk
IT’S TIME TO HEAL BEARS EARS: “…personal healing like nothing else can be.”

Lauret Savoy
ON COMPROMISED GROUND: “Mutual concession requires that we do more. It requires respect.”

Christopher Cokinos
STONE THAT LEAPS: “This place. Lifted, cracked and stilled.”

Kathleen Dean Moore
WHAT SHALL WE GIVE THE CHILDREN?: “Let us give the children wonderment, radical amazement…”

Jen Jackson Quintano
MEMORY: “I want to give it all to my daughter, wrapped in balsamroot leaves.”

Jim Enote
A PLACE FOR MEDIATION: “…indigenous knowledge will be the keystone of collaboration.”

Alastair Lee Bitsoi
SHASH JAA’ FOLLOWS WHEREVER I GO: “I never thought I would write about Bears Ears in my Brooklyn apartment…”

Juan Palma
“…a place I come to re-connect with my Hispanic heritage.”

Shonto Begay
THE VIEW FROM THE MESA: “…the place that harbored the ancient gods and animal beings.”


Across generations and cultures, 34 writers speak for the landscapes of Utah—the threats and the wonders. From wide mesas to deep canyons, the red rock deserts have sustained and inspired people from near and far, and yet special interests demand that these irreplaceable natural treasures be industrialized for the short-term benefit of too few. This beautiful art-as-advocacy book engages imagination and empathy in poetry and prose to show a newer, older way to love one of America’s last wild places.


Mary Ellen Hannibal
THE UR-BEAR: “…a gigantic bear embedded in the geography is more than symbolic.”

Mary Sojourner
BEAR’S EARS: “Meet me in Mexican Hat. I’ve got a surprise for you.”

Amy Irvine
SEEING RED: “Looking at the horizon was like looking through a telescope at Mars.”

Thomas Lowe Fleischner
THE GRACE OF WILDNESS: “In all my years as a naturalist, I’ve never had an encounter like this.”

David Lee
PRELUDE: “Moses did not go to an oil well derrick to receive the Law…”

George Handley
FAITH AND THE LAND: “Our beliefs might differ, but our values harmonize.”

Brooke Williams
LEASE UTU91481: “Leasing this land was not part of our plan.”

Anne Terashima
WE (HEART) WILDERNESS: “Millennials need what this wilderness brings.”

Jacqueline Keeler
IT IS THE LAND THAT TELLS THE STORY: “My Navajo grandfather pulled out his wire cutters and cut the fence.”

Michelle Nijhuis
WHAT THE TORTOISE TAUGHT ME: “Locals prefer to speak for themselves.”

Chip Ward
WHOLE AND HOLY: “We act as if there is no upstream, no downstream.”

Ann Whittaker
WHEN THE DESERT MORNING RISES: “I take my questions, alone, to the redrock canyons.”

Gary Paul Nabhan
UP BETWEEN THE BEARS EARS: “That place triggered my metamorphosis that still informs my life.”

Bruce Babbitt
IT’S TIME TO ACT: “The best way to defend the Antiquities Act is for the President to use it.”

Mark Udall
I AM A SON OF THE COLORADO PLATEAU: “I have walked in the wildest, most remote terrain in the Lower 48.”

Stephen Trimble
WE COME OUT DANCING TOGETHER: “To respond to the wounds in this land, we must first see them.”