May 25, 2019

LePage Testimony: Monument Designation “Blatant(ly) Disregard” For Opposition

*Editor’s Note* – Below is a press release from the House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources involving testimony toward considerations to amend the process of a president’s executive authority to designate lands as National Monuments. This PR is followed by Maine’s Governor, Paul LePage’s, testimony before the Committee and that of Lucas St. Clair, a representative of Elliotsville Plantation, donors of the land designated by President Obama as a new National Monument – Katahdin Woods and Waters.

Panel Outlines Devastating Social and Economic Consequences of Antiquities Designations
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 2, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands heard testimony on the consequences of Executive Branch overreach of the Antiquities Act. The panel discussed national monuments designated without significant local input or support or that included excessively large or restricted areas of land.

Director of the Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office and former head of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Kathleen Clarke discussed the devastating economic consequences for Utah communities after President Clinton designated 1.7 million acres in Utah as the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in 1996.

Families that have lived for generations in affected communities find their families torn apart due to lack of employment opportunities for the next generation. Populations are declining. In the twenty years since the creation of the Grand Staircase, school enrollment in Escalante has gone from 150 to 57 students,” Clarke said.

The monument included roughly 176,000 acres of Utah School and Institutional Trust Land Administration (SITLA) lands, which generate revenues for the state’s K-12 public education system. According to the Utah Geological Survey, the value of resources on school trust lands dropped by $8 billion immediately after the monument designation.

President Obama’s December 2016 Bears Ears National Monument designation similarly locked up 109,000 acres of SITLA land in southern Utah. “What impact will this have for SITLA as they try to grow their fund to benefit more schoolchildren in the state,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) asked Clarke.

This will “diminish opportunity,” Clarke responded, adding that it threatens Utah’s entire K-12 public education system.

Knox Marshall, Vice President of the Resources Division at Murphy Company, testified that President Obama’s January 2017 expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southwestern Oregon and California has “devastated the social fabric of our rural communities and crippled county finances.

Douglas County in Oregon, for example, has recently closed its entire public library system because timber sale revenues that previously funded those libraries and a robust set of other public services have largely disappeared,” Marshall added.

Maine Governor Paul LePage outlined current and anticipated adverse impacts resulting from the August 2016 Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument designation by President Obama, including economic losses to the forestry industry and public access barriers such as the loss of connectivity for ATV trails in the region.

Not long after President Obama designated the Monument, Maine residents started to feel the negative effects of having the federal government as their new master,” LePage stated. 

These designations were often imposed in spite of local opposition, without consultation with Congress, or the state or local government’s effected, and without regard for the economic damage these designations have had on surrounding communities,” Subcommittee Chairman Tom McClintock (R-CA) said.

After reading letters and resolutions from local tribes in Utah opposing the Bears Ears designation Chairman Bishop stated, “I hope that those listening today will remember these voices, the ones that have been excluded from this conversation and the ones that President Obama ignored when he designated Bears Ears National Monument.”

Click here to view full witness testimony.

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Presidential Executive Order on the Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act

*Editor’s Note* – Below is President Trumps Executive Order (EO) designed to REVIEW, and nothing more, the hows and whys of land designations as National Monuments in the U.S. since 1996. In the following statements made by various political criminals (because they all are), the emotional clap-trap, designed specifically to continue the anger, hatred and fury of brainwashed members of the fake political left and the fake political right. 

On the one side, the lying right is trying to make people think all those monument designations are going to be lifted and the BS slogan of “Make America Great Again” will be in full force while nothing happens except the strategically used rhetoric to fan flames and garner support while ensuring the left continues to hate the right, bringing things ever closer to violent protest or all out civil war. The fake left is of no exception in this incitement of anger and hatred. As is typical, the fake left convinces its blind followers that the world is going to come to an end because some people want to question the need for more and more parks and national monuments.

It will never be learned that the fake left and the fake right, along with their fake president and fake cabinet, have no interest in looking out for what is best for you and I. They never have and never will. The will make you think they are because they are the masters of deceit. Trump and Congress do not decide what will be and what will not be. They are but puppets, controlled by the real powers of the world. Trust me, any and all national monuments are not created with you and I and our future interests in mind.

In short, everything that I have posted here is a bunch of horseshit and should be seen as such. The president and his staff of clever liars are hard at work pretending they are caring for the people and fulfilling campaign promises. They choose their words carefully and then present an EO that does nothing except create bureaucratic garbage. To date, all of Trump’s EOs are nothing but false rhetoric to drive hate.

EO follows:

 

Presidential Executive Order:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in recognition of the importance of the Nation’s wealth of natural resources to American workers and the American economy, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Policy.  Designations of national monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906, recently recodified at sections 320301 to 320303 of title 54, United States Code (the “Antiquities Act” or “Act”), have a substantial impact on the management of Federal lands and the use and enjoyment of neighboring lands.  Such designations are a means of stewarding America’s natural resources, protecting America’s natural beauty, and preserving America’s historic places.  Monument designations that result from a lack of public outreach and proper coordination with State, tribal, and local officials and other relevant stakeholders may also create barriers to achieving energy independence, restrict public access to and use of Federal lands, burden State, tribal, and local governments, and otherwise curtail economic growth.  Designations should be made in accordance with the requirements and original objectives of the Act and appropriately balance the protection of landmarks, structures, and objects against the appropriate use of Federal lands and the effects on surrounding lands and communities.

Sec. 2.  Review of National Monument Designations.  (a)  The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) shall conduct a review of all Presidential designations or expansions of designations under the Antiquities Act made since January 1, 1996, where the designation covers more than 100,000 acres, where the designation after expansion covers more than 100,000 acres, or where the Secretary determines that the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders, to determine whether each designation or expansion conforms to the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.  In making those determinations, the Secretary shall consider:

(i)    the requirements and original objectives of the Act, including the Act’s requirement that reservations of land not exceed “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected”;

(ii)   whether designated lands are appropriately classified under the Act as “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest”;

(iii)  the effects of a designation on the available uses of designated Federal lands, including consideration of the multiple-use policy of section 102(a)(7) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (43 U.S.C. 1701(a)(7)), as well as the effects on the available uses of Federal lands beyond the monument boundaries;

(iv)   the effects of a designation on the use and enjoyment of non-Federal lands within or beyond monument boundaries;

(v)    concerns of State, tribal, and local governments affected by a designation, including the economic development and fiscal condition of affected States, tribes, and localities;

(vi)   the availability of Federal resources to properly manage designated areas; and

(vii)  such other factors as the Secretary deems appropriate.

(b)  In conducting the review described in subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall consult and coordinate with, as appropriate, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of any other executive departments or agencies concerned with areas designated under the Act.

(c)  In conducting the review described in subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall, as appropriate, consult and coordinate with the Governors of States affected by monument designations or other relevant officials of affected State, tribal, and local governments.

(d)  Within 45 days of the date of this order, the Secretary shall provide an interim report to the President, through the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, summarizing the findings of the review described in subsection (a) of this section with respect to Proclamation 9558 of December 28, 2016 (Establishment of the Bears Ears National Monument), and such other designations as the Secretary determines to be appropriate for inclusion in the interim report.  For those designations, the interim report shall include recommendations for such Presidential actions, legislative proposals, or other actions consistent with law as the Secretary may consider appropriate to carry out the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.

(e)  Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Secretary shall provide a final report to the President, through the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, summarizing the findings of the review described in subsection (a) of this section.  The final report shall include recommendations for such Presidential actions, legislative proposals, or other actions consistent with law as the Secretary may consider appropriate to carry out the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.

Sec. 3.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

 

DONALD J. TRUMP

 

THE WHITE HOUSE,
April 26, 2017.

Bishop Statement on Antiquities Act Executive Order

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2017

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s announcement on national monument designations.

“Today’s action sends the powerful message that communities will no longer take a back seat to out-of-state special interest groups. I’m pleased to see President Trump recognize long-standing abuses of the Antiquities Act. It was created with noble intent and for limited purposes, but has been hijacked to set aside increasingly large and restricted areas of land without public input.

“I applaud the Trump administration’s clear commitment to do what past administrations refused to do, actually talk to real people who live in the area. This EO is not the end of the story, we will work the Trump administration and our communities to get this right.”

Murkowski Commends Executive Order on National Monuments

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today joined President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for the signing ceremony of an executive order directing the Department of the Interior to conduct a review of national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act since 1996.

Secretary Zinke will review onshore and marine monument designations over 100,000 acres in size, and provide recommendations to the president for changes to the scope and size of those monuments within the next 120 days.

“I strongly support President Trump’s order to review the largest national monuments designated over the past two decades,” Murkowski said. “During the past administration, we saw the Antiquities Act result in sweeping designations that frequently ignored local opposition. This review is a good step forward in our efforts to reform the monument designation process to ensure the concerns of those who stand to be impacted are heard and respected.”

The Obama administration designated a total of 554 million acres—an area five times the size of California, and more than the previous 18 presidents combined—as national and marine monuments. The scale and extent of those designations sharply contrast with the explicit wording of the Antiquities Act, which requires the reservation of “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”

Murkowski is a leading congressional advocate for Antiquities Act reform. Earlier this year, she and 27 Republican colleagues introduced S. 33, the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act. The bill would facilitate greater local input and require state approval before national monuments can be designated on federal lands and waters.

Murkowski is chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

WATCH: Cantwell Defends The Protected Status Of National Monuments

President’s Executive Order Threatens San Juan Island and Hanford Reach

Download broadcast-quality video of Sen. Cantwell’s floor statement here.
Watch Sen. Cantwell’s floor statement on YouTube here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) today defended the Antiquities Act and the protected status of National Monuments across the country.

Senator Cantwell took to the Senate floor to oppose the President’s short-sighted attempt to illegally roll back the National Monument status for some our country’s most treasured public lands and national monuments, protected to preserve them for public recreation and enjoyment.

“The shortsighted move is a pretext to attack the designation of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah,” Senator Cantwell said. “Sacred to five tribes, Bears Ears is a breath-taking sight for all Americans who come to experience what is the unbelievable unique beauty of the West.”

In Utah alone, outdoor recreation is responsible for $12 billion in consumer spending each year: more than twice the value of oil and gas produced in the state ($5 billion).

Just today, the Outdoor Industry Association released a new report on the economic contributions of the recreation economy. Nationally, the recreation industry currently creates $887 billion in consumer spending every year. That’s up more than $200 billion (from $646 billion) the last time this study was conducted, a few years ago.

In addition, outdoor recreation industry is responsible for 7.6 million jobs in this country today. That’s growth of 1.5 million jobs since the last time this study was conducted.

Sen. Cantwell explained that President Trump’s Executive Order calls into question more than just Bears Ears National Monument. “Reviewing any designation in the last 20 years, threatening the question of the San Juan Island or the Hanford Reach National Monument and the creation of other sites around the United States and threatening our economies. Time and time again, the Trump administration is pushing for policies that are harmful to our recreation economy, a disaster for our pristine places, and setting a terrible precedent for future conservation efforts.”

In Washington, the outdoor recreation economy generated $22.5 billion in consumer spending and $1.6 billion in state and local tax revenue.

Watch the video of Sen. Cantwell’s floor statement here.

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