In the United States, we have over 120 national monuments. We’ve all heard about them in the news, and seen them designated and then undesignated over the past few presidencies. But what even IS a national monument? And who manages land that is designated as a national monument? What does it mean for our outdoor pursuits?
Writer McKenzie Long was asking herself similar questions when President Obama designated the Bears Ears area a national monument at the end of 2016. Her curiosity about her beloved climbing area, Indian Creek, which was technically inside of the Bears Ears National monument, and what this designation meant for her future climbing there, led her on a journey to visit many national monuments and speak to the people who were impacted by these sorts of designations.
In this episode, Kris and McKenzie sit down to discuss her book, This Contested Land: The Storied Past and Uncertain Future of America’s National Monuments, and how we should think about national monuments as stewards of outdoor recreation.
You can find more links and the full transcript on our website.
And if you want to hear about McKenzie’s climbing journey, check out her episode on the Power Company Climbing Podcast.
Music in this episode is from the album Kokura Station by Blue Dot Sessions.