May 25, 2018

Curtis Bill Enhances Antiquities Protections, Creates First Ever Tribally-Managed National Monument

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 9, 2018 – Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on H.R. 4532, the “Shash Jaa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act.” Introduced by Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), and cosponsored by every Member of the House of Representatives from Utah, the bill builds upon President Trump’s right-sizing of the Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) and creates the first tribally co-managed national monument in history.

While it is difficult to overstate how politicized the creation and management of our national monuments has become, I believe all sides of this debate share many common goals,” Rep. Curtis stated. “These goals include a high priority on protecting and preserving both antiquities and the natural beauty of this area, as well as maintaining traditional uses of the land.”

In in the waning days of office, President Obama unilaterally designated the BENM against the will of Utah’s elected leaders, local stakeholders and tribes.

Despite empty promises to the contrary, the original BENM proclamation did not bestow tribal co-management. Instead, the proclamation created a token advisory role for tribes and no legal or official decision making authority.

“There is no one who cares for the land more than we do, the local residents and native people of San Juan County. It is the people who live closest to the land that understand the land best and should have a voice in how lands are managed,” Member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Suzette Morris stressed.

Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), described the Bears Ears Commission, the tribal advisory board established under the original BENM proclamation, as a scam.

“The Commission is a fraud, it’s a sham. They get to advise, but the advice can easily be rejected. Land managers have the ability to arbitrarily change things and there is nothing tribes can do about it,” Chairman Bishop argued.

Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) questioned Ms. Morris on whether local tribes were consulted by the Obama administration prior to the BENM designation and whether tribal co-management was ever achieved. “No,” Morris answered. 

President Trump signed an Executive Order in April 2017, requiring a review of recent monument designations to determine whether they were consistent with the “original objectives” of the Antiquities Act.  The review asserted, among other conclusions, that BENM’s size was not the “smallest area compatible” with care of the objects requiring protection, as required under the Act, and that tribes did not have an “adequate role” in managing the monument.

On December 4, 2017, President Trump signed a proclamation to protect identified antiquities in the region with the creation of two new separate, more targeted monuments: the Shash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument. To codify those actions and prevent future administrations from arbitrarily modifying the monument boundaries, congressional action is required.

“We now find ourselves with a reset and the opportunity to move forward with a legislative process for protecting this area,” Governor of Utah Gary Herbert stressed. “If we really care about protecting the antiquities and archeological artifacts… if we really care about giving native Americans co-management responsibility, it has to be done legislatively.”

“Without congressional action, Bears Ears, Shash Jaa and Indian Creed will be relegated to nothing more than political footballs being punted back and forth with each presidential adminstration. Nobody wins in that scenario – not the archeological resources, not the environment and certainly not the people of San Juan County,” Director of the Coalition for Self-Government in the West of the Sutherland Institute Matt Anderson stated.

H.R. 4532 codifies the newly-created monuments and establishes the Shash Jaa Tribal Management Council, made up of a minimum of four local tribal members, guaranteeing tribal input in management decisions.

H.R. 4532 will finally empower the voices who have been silenced in the debate, and those are the tribes of the local tribes who actually live in San Juan County,” Morris said.

The bill maintains the existing 1.35 million acre mineral withdrawal under the original BENM designation to “put to rest any suspicion that the monument was reduced in order to advance energy development,” Governor Herbert stated.

The bill also establishes the first-of-its-kind Archaeological Resources Protection Unit, a statutory assignment of additional law enforcement personnel, and additional federal dollars, for the exclusive protection of antiquities within monument boundaries.

Click here to view full witness testimony.

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Trump National Monument Reform Applauded by Free-Market Environmentalists

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

“First Step on the Road to Undoing an Egregious Abuse of Power”

Repeal Antiquities Act to Protect Property Rights, Promote Economic Prosperity


Washington, DC 
– 
Environmental experts with the National Center for Public Policy Research applaud President Donald Trump’s order to scale back two Utah national monuments as a good kickoff in reforming abuse of the Antiquities Act. The National Center sent President Trump a coalition letter earlier this year noting that modern applications of the Act unconstitutionally create de facto wilderness areas and national parks prohibiting almost all activity on designated land.

“This is a first step on the road to undoing an egregious abuse of power that the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations exercised in designating millions of acres of federal land as national monuments. But it is just a first step. Obama alone designated national monuments in Oregon, California, Nevada and Maine as well as off the Atlantic Coast, and these should also be on the chopping block,” said National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. “Ultimately, the problem lies with the Antiquities Act itself. Originally enacted to protect Native American artifacts and sacred sites, it has been transformed into a land-use mechanism that blocks Americans’ access to their own natural resources. Since the Antiquities Act was passed in 1906, other laws have been enacted that protect Native American cultural and archeological sites. These other laws do not lend themselves to the abuse we have seen with the Antiquities Act.”

On December 4, President Trump ordered the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments to be dramatically scaled back. His action came after he asked the U.S. Department of the Interior earlier this year to review all monument designations. While the land remains under the control of the federal government, this order opens it up to more potential use by the public. These may not be the only monument designations reconsidered by the President.

“These designations really protected nothing. The lands were already owned by the federal government and carefully managed, regulated and well-protected by an army of federal agents,” said National Center Senior Fellow R.J. Smith. “The goal of the designations had been to convert multiple-use public lands into de facto national parks and wilderness areas, preventing traditional uses such as recreation, grazing and any other economic uses of natural resources. It usurped the authority of Congress to designate parks and wildernesses, and it disenfranchised the people of the affected states – especially those in rural counties and communities. Worse, it accelerated the War on the West – destroying the economic well-being of much of rural America while undermining the tax base of county and small town governments and turning thriving communities into ghost towns.”

In October, the National Center brought together almost 40 free-market organizations, trade associations, businesses, former federal officials and current lawmakers on a letter to President Trump that asked for comprehensive reform of the Antiquities Act and a rollback of national monument designations. It asked the Trump Administration to “deal more forcibly with the abuses that have plagued the program for decades” and “restor[e] integrity and transparency to a process that for too long has been lacking in both.”

“The Antiquities Act should be repealed,” added Dr. Cohen. “Meanwhile, we eagerly await President Trump’s next steps to restore the rule of law and remove Washington’s meddling hands from how our lands – public and private – are to be used.”

Smith said: “We applaud President Trump, and we hope he will continue to substantially downsize – or preferably eliminate – other national monument designations under review in Maine, New Mexico, California, Oregon and Nevada.”

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So, Is Katahdin Woods and Waters Now On The Chopping Block?

Now that’s a laugh!

It has been announced that President Trump, citing the intent of the Antiquities Act, has reduced the sizes of a couple of National Monuments in Utah. After examining the press release does this mean places like Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters is scheduled for the chopping block?

That’s not likely going to happen, but one has to wonder why in Utah and not in other places? Or, are there more to come? What’s on that land in Utah that is important enough for Trump to do this and not in more places?

Maybe the best place to start is at the beginning. Below is a copy of the Antiquities Act of 1906, signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt.

~~~~~~~~

American Antiquities Act of 1906

16 USC 431-433

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person who shall appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object of antiquity, situated on lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States, without the permission of the Secretary of the Department of the Government having jurisdiction over the lands on which said antiquities are situated, shall, upon conviction, be fined in a sum of not more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for a period of not more than ninety days, or shall suffer both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

Sec. 2. That the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected: Provided, That when such objects are situated upon a tract covered by a bona fied unperfected claim or held in private ownership, the tract, or so much thereof as may be necessary for the proper care and management of the object, may be relinquished to the Government, and the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to accept the relinquishment of such tracts in behalf of the Government of the United States.

Sec. 3. That permits for the examination of ruins, the excavation of archaeological sites, and the gathering of objects of antiquity upon the lands under their respective jurisdictions may be granted by the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and War to institutions which the may deem properly qualified to conduct such examination, excavation, or gathering, subject to such rules and regulation as they may prescribe: Provided, That the examinations, excavations, and gatherings are undertaken for the benefit of reputable museums, universities, colleges, or other recognized scientific or educational institutions, with a view to increasing the knowledge of such objects, and that the gatherings shall be made for permanent preservation in public museums.

Sec. 4. That the Secretaries of the Departments aforesaid shall make and publish from time to time uniform rules and regulations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.

Approved, June 8, 1906 

[Emboldening Added]

Section 1, clearly states that the intent of the Act is to protect “historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object of antiquity.” These artifacts are those found on Federal Land and/or private lands that the private landowner has or will “relinquished to the Government.”

These so-called “antiquities” that needed protection, at the time of the creation of this act, were items that someone could,  “…appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object of antiquity.” The abuse that has happened in this regard wonders how someone might “appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy” a view or a small river.

With that in mind, looking at Section 2, an honest examination of the Katahdin Woods and Waters has to bring forth the question as to what, precisely sits on the 87,563 acres of donated land that qualifies as, “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest.”

If President Trump’s motivating factor for reducing the National Monuments in Utah was to limit the scope of land designated as protecting “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest,” and there are no real “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” found at the Katahdin Woods and Waters site, should the president remove National Monument designation from that site and simply turn the land, given by Roxanne Quimby, over to management by the Bureau of Land Management or the U.S. Forest Service?

Argument will always be made as to the value-weighted perspective of what the Katahdin Woods and Waters has to offer that qualifies as worthy of protection. The only view of anything worthwhile is of Mt. Katahdin and that can be seen in many places throughout the region. Other than that everything else in the new park can be found commonly in many places across Maine and other states.

Removing designation will never happen but the point should be made that abuse of the Antiquities Act has repercussions, many of which will not be felt at the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument until sometime into the future. It is very little this administration can do that would justify a move to remove the entire national monument designation.

So Mainers are stuck with what there is.

 

 

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President Trump and Secretary Zinke Announce Modification to Utah Monuments,

Resulting in 5 Unique National Monument Units Totaling More Than 1.2 Million Acres

Modifications protect paleontological resources, Native American artifacts and other objects of historic or scientific interest while restoring traditional use and access to public lands

Date: December 4, 2017

Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

SALT LAKE CITY – Acting upon the recommendation of U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, and with the support of Utah’s governor, Congressional delegation, local officials, and residents, President Donald J. Trump today signed proclamations to adjust the boundaries and management of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM). The proclamations modify the boundaries of those monuments and result in five unique monument units within the two monuments which protect important objects of historical and scientific interest.

“No one values the splendor of Utah more than the people of Utah – and no one knows better how to use it. Families will hike and hunt on land they have known for generations, and they will preserve it for generations to come.” said President Donald J. Trump. “The Antiquities Act does not give the Federal Government unlimited power to lock up millions of acres of land and water, and it’s time we ended this abusive practice. Public lands will once again be for public use.”

“I thank President Trump for his leadership on the Monument Review and for keeping his promise to make sure the rural voice is heard once again,” said Secretary Zinke. “As I visited the Monuments in Utah, I met with Americans on all sides of the issue — from ranchers to conservationists to tribal leaders — and found that we agree on wanting to protect our heritage while still allowing public access to public land. The people of Utah overwhelmingly voiced to us that public land should be protected not for the special interests, but for the citizens of our great country who use them, and this is what President Trump is doing today. Bears Ears and Grand Staircase will remain under federal protection, will adhere to the spirit and letter of the Antiquities Act, and — even after our modification — combined will still be nearly twice the size of Rhode Island.”

“By acting on Secretary Zinke’s thoughtful recommendations, President Trump has restored balance to our public lands discussion,” said Governor Gary Herbert of Utah. “We are pleased that Utahns once again have a voice in the process of determining appropriate uses of these public lands that we love. By reducing these super-sized monuments to a size consistent with the intent of the law, new doors of dialogue have opened up that will allow thoughtful, long-term protection of these federal lands. Federal, state, local and tribal officials can now convene to craft legislation for appropriate special protections and responsible recreational uses.”

“Thank you Secretary Zinke, for coming to San Juan, Kane, and Garfield counties and listening to the local grassroots people. Your boots on the ground approach was unexpected, but well received and appreciated,” said San Juan County Commissioner Rebecca Benally. “Thank you Senator Hatch. You and your staff have been champions for us. Thank you for never giving up. For believing we could rectify a wrong and for being a fighter for San Juan County and our people. Thank you President Trump. Thank you for not being a typical politician and passing us over. Thank you for caring about San Juan County. We may be only 15,000 strong, but we matter. We appreciate you willing to take the backlash from the special interest groups as you stand for the people and the economy of San Juan County.”

“I’m thrilled and grateful to President Trump and Secretary Zinke for giving Utahns a voice in the protection of federal lands in Utah,” said Senator Orrin Hatch. “The President’s proclamation represents a balanced solution and a win for everyone on all sides of this issue. It also represents a new beginning in the way national monuments are designated, paving the way for more local input, and taking into account the actual letter and intent of the Antiquities Act, which calls for the ‘smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.'”

Bears Ears National Monument: The BENM will now encompass two monument units, Shash Jáa and Indian Creek, which will continue to be jointly managed by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. Shash Jáa is approximately 129,980 acres and Indian Creek is approximately 71,896 acres. Collectively, at approximately 201,876 acres in size, Bears Ears remains larger than Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park combined. The new proclamation allows for increased public access to the land and restores traditional use allowance for activities like cattle grazing and motorized recreation, and tribal collection of wood and herbs. Objects that remain within monument boundaries include: the “Bears Ears” buttes, Lime Ridge Clovis Site, Moon House Ruin, Doll House Ruin, Indian Creek Rock Art, and Newspaper Rock. The federal lands excluded from the monument will continue to be managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service.

In addition, the President’s proclamation provides that the Bears Ears Commission will provide guidance and recommendations for the Shash Jáa unit of the monument and will be expanded to include a Native American San Juan County Commissioner elected by the majority-Native American voting district in that County. The President and Secretary will also request that Congress formally allocate Tribal co-management of the monument.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: The GSENM will now consist of three distinct monument units, the “Grand Staircase” (209,993 acres), “Kaiparowits” (551,034 acres), and “Escalante Canyons” (242,836 acres), and all three will be managed by the BLM. The three new monument areas collectively total 1,003,863 acres, which is larger than the entire state of Rhode Island. The federal lands not included in the new monuments will continue to be managed by the BLM.

In the 20 years since designation of the GSENM, the objects identified by the proclamation have been more thoroughly examined and mapped, which offered the opportunity to examine the significance of the objects previously identified and
determine the proper size of the reservation necessary to protect those objects. The modified monument includes important objects identified in the original designation, including those areas with the highest concentration of fossil resources, important landscape features such as the Grand Staircase, Upper Paria Canyon System, Kaiparowits Plateau, Escalante Natural Bridge, Upper Escalante Canyons, East Kaibab Monocline, Grosvenor Arch, Old Paria Townsite, Dance Hall Rock, and relict plant communities such as No Mans Mesa.

FACT VS FICTION: Antiquities Act and Monument Review

Myth: No president has shrunk a monument.
False: Monuments have been reduced at least eighteen times under presidents on both sides of the aisle. Some examples include President John F. Kennedy excluding Bandelier National Monument, Presidents Taft, Wilson, and Coolidge reducing Mount Olympus National Monument, and President Eisenhower reducing the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado.

Myth: The monument review will sell/transfer public lands to states.
False: This is not true. The Secretary adamantly opposes the wholesale sale or transfer of public lands. The Antiquities Act only allows Federal land to be reserved as a national monument. Therefore, if any monument is reduced, the land would remain federally owned and would be managed by the appropriate Federal land management agency, such as the BLM, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or the National Park Service (NPS).

Myth: Removing the monument designation from land will leave Native American artifacts and paleontological objects subject to looting or desecration.
False: This is not true. Whether these resources are found on land designated as a monument, national forest, BLM- managed public land, or other federal land, it is generally illegal to remove or disrupt these resources without a permit issued by the federal government.

Myth: The monument review will close/sell/transfer national parks.
False: No national parks are under review.

Myth: The review was done without meeting advocates for national monuments.
False: The Secretary visited eight monuments in six states and personally hosted more than 60 meetings attended by hundreds of local stakeholders. Attendees included individuals and organizations representing all sides of the debate ranging from environmental organizations like the Wilderness Society and the Nature Conservancy to county commissioners and, residents, and ranchers who prefer multiple use of the land.

Myth: Tribal Nations were not consulted.
False: This is patently false. Before traveling to Utah, the Secretary met with Tribal representatives in his office. On his first day in Utah in May, the Secretary met with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition in Salt Lake City, for just under two hours. Throughout the four-day survey of the Utah monuments, the Secretary also met with local Tribal representatives who represent different sides of the debate. The Secretary also met with Tribal representatives for their input on several other monuments from Maine to New Mexico to Oregon and everywhere in between. Additionally, the Department hosted several Tribal listening sessions at the Department and across the country, including a four hour session with the Acting Deputy Secretary on May 30th.

Bishop Statement on President Trump Protecting Antiquities in Utah, Addressing Past Executive Abuse

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 4, 2017 –

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement:

“I applaud President Trump for recognizing the limitations of the law. Americans of all political stripes should commend him for reversing prior administrations’ abuses of the Antiquities Act and instead exercising his powers within the scope of authority granted by Congress.

“These new proclamations are a first step towards protecting identified antiquities without disenfranchising the local people who work and manage these areas. The next steps will be to move beyond symbolic gestures of protection and create substantive protections and enforcement and codify in law a meaningful management role for local governments, tribes and other stakeholders.”

Cantwell Statement On Trump Administration’s Unlawful Attack On Public Lands

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) made the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s decision to reduce Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante:

“Veterans, sportsmen, climbers, hikers and the outdoor economy all depend on open space.  ?Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante have been driving a vibrant outdoor economy for years. Now President Trump is using unlawful authority to pollute these special places.   His administration deserves an ‘F’ for stewardship.”

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Trump dramatically SHRINKS Bears Ears National Monument

  • President announced plans Monday in Utah to shrink two sprawling Utah national monuments by nearly two-thirds after Obama expanded them
  • Trump plans to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by nearly 85 percent and reduce Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by almost half
  • Move is being called illegal by environmental groups and will be opposed by some, but not all, Native American groups
  • Trump said on his way out of Washington that his decision is a victory for ‘state’s rights’
  • A Navajo Democratic county commissioner told Trump’s audience that expanding the monuments had put her ancestral lands off-limits
  • Riot police dispersed protesters outside a Mormon charity food-distribution center as Trump spoke to church leaders inside<<<Read More>>>

Hopefully, the president will not stop here and will reduce or eliminate many more.

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Sec. Zinke Fails the President About National Monument Review

“Instead of doing as asked, Secretary Zinke recommended decreasing the size of only four of the most blatantly illegal national monuments while leaving the boundaries of all the others standing with mollycoddle language, which will soon get stricken by environmentalists. Worse, he asked that the president do as Clinton and Obama did before him: that is, designate as national monuments federal lands that do not qualify under the Antiquities Act, including, in a surprisingly questionable case of special pleading, one in his home state of Montana. If President Trump does not heed his own pugnacious and not Zinke’s pusillanimous counsel, the matter will be up to the entity entrusted by the Constitution with management of federal lands: Congress. That is as it should be, but whether Congress is up to the task is doubtful, given not just the past nine months but the last 107 years.” <<<Read More>>>

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National Monument Review: Nothing Changes. Only Faces and Rhetoric

If you read it and understand it!

Press Release from the Department of Interior:

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke sent a draft report to the president which included his findings and recommendations on national monuments that were under review as a result of the April 26, 2017 executive order. The report summary can be read here. The extensive 120-day review included more than 60 meetings with hundreds of advocates and opponents of monument designations, tours of monuments conducted over air, foot, car, and horseback (including a virtual tour of a marine monument), and a thorough review of more than 2.4 million public comments submitted to the Department on regulations.gov. Additionally, countless more meetings and conversations between senior Interior officials and local, state, Tribal, and non-government stakeholders including multiple Tribal listening sessions.

The review was initiated by President Trump in order to restore trust in the multiple-use mission of the Department and to give rural communities a voice in federal land management decisions. In order to make the process transparent and give local residents and stakeholders a voice, the Secretary announced on May 5, 2017 the opening up of a formal comment period for the review, as the President directed. This was the first time ever that a formal comment period was open on regulations.gov for national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act.

“No President should use the authority under the Antiquities Act to restrict public access, prevent hunting and fishing, burden private land, or eliminate traditional land uses, unless such action is needed to protect the object,” said Secretary Zinke.“The recommendations I sent to the president on national monuments will maintain federal ownership of all federal land and protect the land under federal environmental regulations, and also provide a much needed change for the local communities who border and rely on these lands for hunting and fishing, economic development, traditional uses, and recreation.”

While traveling across the country, Secretary Zinke met with hundreds of local stakeholders and heard concerns about some national monuments negatively impacting things like local revenue from federal lands, agriculture, private property rights, public access to land, traditional Tribal uses of the land, and timber harvesting.

Over the 120-day review, Secretary Zinke visited eight national monument sites in six states:

  • Bears Ears (UT)
  • Grand Staircase Escalante (UT)
  • Katahdin Woods and Waters (ME)
  • Northeast Canyons and Seamounts
  • Cascade Siskiyou (OR & CA)
  • Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks (NM)
  • Basin and Range (NV)
  • Gold Butte (NV)

The following national monuments were announced to have been removed from review prior to the August 24 deadline:

Bishop Statement on Secretary Zinke’s National Monument Review 

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 24, 2017 –

Today, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement in reaction to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s final review of national monument designations under the Antiquities Act (Act):

“I am encouraged by the recommendations to revise previous designations that were inconsistent with the law and outside the Act’s size limitations. It is my hope that President Trump takes this opportunity to begin realigning uses of the law with its intended purpose. It’s also incumbent on Congress to pursue reforms to the Act that ensure it is being used to protect antiquities while providing meaningful local input in the designation process and reasonable continued public access to these iconic areas. Ultimately, only Congress can restore integrity to this law and prevent future abuses.

Cantwell Statement On President Trump’s Effort To Shut Down National Monuments

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) made the following statement regarding Secretary Zinke’s national monument report:

“Teddy Roosevelt would roll over in his grave if he could see what Donald Trump and Ryan Zinke are trying to do to our national treasures today. Secretary Zinke’s secret report to the President is the latest step in a rigged process to try and turn over our public lands to oil and gas companies. 

The Secretary announced this morning that his recommendation to the President will include making a “handful” of changes to existing national monuments.   As I’ve said for months, the President does not have the legal authority to overturn these protections.  This report and entire process have amounted to nothing but a colossal waste of tax payer dollars.

The Trump Administration is trying to erase over 100 years of conservation and open space for all to enjoy through hunting, fishing and recreating.  Any attempt to eliminate outdoor recreation opportunities for veterans and all other Americans by giving them away to special interests is unacceptable.  These special places belong to the people, not to corporate polluters, and I will continue fighting to keep them that way.”

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Dumb! Roads to Katahdin Woods and Waters Terrible

Strewn with holes, rocks and ruts, the seven private roads on the National Park Service map of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are bumpy and sometimes narrow — not wide enough for more than one vehicle. Foliage blocks the view around many curves. Driving faster than 15 mph is dangerous. Loggers have the right of way, but few signs say so. Speed-limit signs also are rare.<<<Read More>>>

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Trump Signs EO: Katahdin W&W Exempt From Direct Review

When word began to circulate through the dark and dank world of the political cesspool of hell that President Trump was going to create an executive order concerning the designation of national monuments, the two fake political sides erupted in polar opposite rounds of ad nauseam, i.e. America will be great again versus, the sky is falling.

Trump has signed his Executive Order. You can read the order and the comments of other criminal politicians working to shore up the hate fomenting rhetoric of their fake political parties. Talk about ad nauseam!!!

Few will take the time to read it or consider anything other than what is spoon fed them. It is much like the teaser and link I just posted earlier today of how everybody loves and wants Nature protected but have little desire to change any part of their lifestyle to take advantage of the millions of dollars taxpayers cough up each year to make it available. I guess this action is a mirror action of creating hunting “opportunities.” I’m sure that’s gone right over your head.

Incapable of mustering an attention span beyond 141 characters, people can and do choose to only digest bits of lies…mostly those they want to hear. However, if you are capable beyond that, you might be still with me on this post.

The Trump Executive Order (EO) is crafted as a “REVIEW.” He wants to review the process of the hows, whys and wherefores that decisions are made to designate lands as national parks and/or monuments. The Antiquities Act, which the lying bastards say gives them authority to designation protected land, was enacted in 1906. Maybe it’s time for a review. At the end of the review process (120 days from the signing of the EO) a report might have suggestions included on how the process can be made better. It doesn’t order the compilation of a list of protected federal lands that should be removed from that protection. Do you get it? It goes something like this: Suggest words that can be used so that the current and all future presidents can continue to do what they are doing but the words will cause people to think they are being hung with a new rope…and like it.

Trump wants specific reviews of all land designations made since 1996 (magical year?) that are over 100,000 acres in size. Maine’s newly appointed totalitarian forest of black flies and mosquitoes, Katahdin Woods and Waters (KWW) falls short at about 58,000 acres.

Unless the review process suggests that there must be some kind of process that follows a bureaucratic procedure to include any and all public input first, and retroactive, it appears Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters (and black flies and mosquitoes) is here to stay. However, we are referring to U.S. politics and the lie we all live believing the U.S. is a government of and by the people.

Understand one thing. Obama designated Roxanne Quimby’s land as a national monument for corrupt and political reasons. You and I in that process were nothing more than a bothersome black fly or mosquito. Do you really think anything Trump or his fake Right will do to change what Obama and his fake Left did, will be meaningful? If you do, you don’t have clue about the real ruling establishment or how the global power structure works.

So if you are one of those in Maine who thinks that Governor LePage is going to go to Washington and have lunch with Trump and make America great again, I do have a bridge in New York I’d like to sell.

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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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