Bureau of Land Management

US Forest Service / via Twitter

Firefighters are working to suppress the East Rim Fire on public lands northeast of Dove Creek. The lightning-sparked blaze reached 250 acres Wednesday and was burning near the Dolores River Canyon south of the Pyramid formation and east of the river. Fire restrictions on BLM Tres Rios Field Office lands were implemented on Tuesday.

Bureau of Land Management / Creative Commons

The 176,000-acre Canyons of the Ancients National Monument lies just west of Cortez.

Kyle Taylor / Creative Commons

The Bureau of Land Management has decided not to allow motorized use through the bottom of Recapture Canyon near Blanding, Utah, but to create some seven miles of trail along the rim where ATVs and even full-size vehicles could travel.

Nationalparks / Creative Commons

At the end of last year, President Obama declared the Bears Ears National Monument amidst vocal opposition among some locals. But in the year 2000, then-president Bill Clinton took similar action: he declared Canyons of the Ancients National Monument west of Cortez.  The monument now covers over 175,000 acres and the highest concentration of archeological sites in the United States.

Bureau of Land Management

Fred Blackburn was a ranger for the Bureau of Land Management in 1974, when he worked at Grand Gulch, now part of the new Bears Ears National Monument. He was at Grand Gulch until 1979. Though Blackburn eventually resigned from the agency, his tenure as a ranger gave him on-the-ground perspectives about public lands management.  He talked with KSJD's Austin Cope.