Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
A cultural center at Bears Ears National Monument, if well planned, could serve as an anchor destination through which visitors could learn about, experience, and appreciate the cultures, histories, and landscapes that define southeastern Utah. A cultural center also holds the potential to bolster the regional economy, by signaling a long-term investment in the sustainability of the region’s outdoor recreation and tourism industry. Our intent with this analysis is to establish a foundational understanding of potential locations for a cultural center. We develop and analyze a set of cultural, environmental, and economic metrics that can be used to shape ongoing discussions about the potential locations for the Bears Ears National Monument cultural center. Our analysis shows markedly different potential siting locations depending upon whether cultural, environmental, or economic considerations are given priority. When all three considerations are equally weighed, there are several notable “hot spots” near Bluff, south and west of Blanding, and west of Monticello. We describe the advantages and disadvantages associated with each of these potential locations. Ultimately, we hope the work we have completed here can be used to shape ongoing discussions about the potential locations for the Bears Ears National Monument cultural center.
Smith, Jordan W.; Yang, Eunjung; and Miller, Anna B., "An Assessment of the Location of the Bears Ears National Monument Cultural Center" (2022). Environment and Society Faculty Publications. Paper 1647.