For the people of the Navajo Nation who live in San Juan County and whose forefathers first settled its canyons many hundreds of years ago, Bears Ears is not just a place you call home. It is sacred ground. It is a source of meaning, a source of sustenance, a place where you meditate, where you gather and pray and hold ceremonies. It is what unites the generations of families and tribes forming an organic and permanent bond that connects past, present and future, all in one place and all at one time. Taking care of ancestral land, protecting and preserving it for the next generation, is not optional for many Native Americans. It is a sacred duty, it is part of life, and it is part of their tradition and their deeply rooted religious belief. The Public Lands Initiative (PLI), a piece of legislation, has been written to achieve what a monument designation cannot. Instead of simply hoping that current and future land managers will cooperate and work equitably with the people of San Juan County, the PLI would codify into law clear and fair land management guidelines that ensure that Native Americans and other residents of San Juan County will be actively involved in the preservation of Bears Ears. The PLI is different than the proposed national monument because it requires no leap of faith that Federal land managers, without any standards agreed upon in advance, are going to work cooperatively with local residents.