These Buttes can be seen from hundreds of miles away and served as a beacon for Native Americans traveling to their ancient religious sites.
Surrounding Bears Ears are environmental remediation sites such as the Happy Jack Mine. The uranium veins within the mountain side can be seen in grey. Miners decades ago would dig into the sides of mountains, discarding sandstone and unused uranium where rain runoff would carry this contamination down the mountainside into streams and rivers used by the Native Americans.
Locals working the mines, or truckers hauling uranium to the mills for processing were exposed to radioactive dust causing lung cancer, and other health conditions. While many of these workers have died decades ago, there are those still being treated for years of exposure.
This is just one of thousands of ancient Native American Ruins on The Bears Ears National Monument.
Small towns such as White Mesa continue to have contaminated drinking water due to uranium mining.
Throughout Bears Ears are 100's of ancient ruins and sacred burial grounds needing protection. All too often these sites are pillaged for valuable artifacts sold on the black market.
Adjacent to Bears Ears is the only operating uranium mill that processes uranium ore from truckloads pulled from the active mines in the region.
There are many mines within the Radium King Mining Region within the Bears Ears National Monument that are open mines posing danger to tourists who may enter these mines to explore. Many of these mines not only have radioactive uranium dust, but also radon gas, and arsenic residue. The timbers supporting the walls of these mines are in various levels of decay.