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Pressure from tourists, looters increase urgency for Haaland to deal with Bears Ears NMon's future

BLUFF, Utah — In the sandstone canyon where Vaughn Hadenfeldt once saw the bloody tracks of a mountain lion hauling off a mule deer, there are 1,000-year-old cliff dwellings decorated by rock paintings of bighorn sheep where one can still see the ancient footprint of an infant pressed into the wall.

A renowned wilderness guide with decades of experience exploring the Bears Ears area, Hadenfeldt has long argued that this austere landscape teeming with archaeological and cultural treasure in southeastern Utah should be viewed as an outdoor museum. And each time he visits, more of that treasure has been looted.

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