July 16, 2019

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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Medicare’s Harm to Patients, Doctors Detailed in New Book

As Medicare Turns 50 on July 30, New Book Exposes Medicare’s Problems and its Victims

“Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians ” Tells Tales of Harm to Patients, Struggles by Doctors

Explains Why “Medicare-for-All,” as Proposed by Some Politicians, Won’t Work

Washington, DC – “As Medicare nears its 50th anniversary, there will no doubt be much celebrating among politicians and pundits on the left,” says Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow and health care policy analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Yet Medicare has a sick underbelly. Exposing the problem and reporting the true facts about this program should be the media’s main focus. There is no reason to sugarcoat this program. It’s broken and my book explains why.”

Dr. Hogberg’s new book, “Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians,”* shows that Medicare often fails to provide quality health care to patients.

“The media too often overlooks the many victims of Medicare, in part because Medicare has achieved this mythic status as a wonderful government program,” says Dr. Hogberg. “This book reports on the program’s many flaws, providing the reader with a more balanced view of Medicare.”

“Medicare’s Victims” tells the intimate stories of patients and physicians who have struggled with Medicare’s policies. They include:

-Clay Bell, whose death was hastened because Medicare denied the physical therapy he needed to slow the progression of his Multiple Sclerosis.

-Sean Plomann, who suffered in agonizing pain while languishing in Medicare’s waiting period for the disabled.

-Donna Dennis, who came very close to suffering a stroke because she could not afford her medication after falling into Part D’s donut hole.

-Dr. Scott Braddock, who, despite getting stellar results with his hard-to-treat diabetes patients, had to close his practice, thanks to Medicare.

-The book also recounts how the American Hospital Association and Federation of American Hospitals used Medicare to stop competition from physician-owned specialty hospitals, although such hospitals often provided the highest quality of care.

“The book is also timely because there are some more liberal politicians who are now pushing for a ‘Medicare-for-All’ single-payer system,” says Dr. Hogberg. “Specifically, Senator Bernie Sanders recently called for such a system. The book yields insight into why such a system wouldn’t work.”

“Medicare’s Victims” shows that the beneficiaries who do get good treatment under Medicare are the ones who have the ability to influence Congress on Medicare policy. That generally includes senior citizens, who vote at rates higher than almost any other group.

“Under a system of Medicare-for-All, resources would flow to those with political power,” says Dr. Hogberg. “The problem is that people without political power will lose out, and they are likely to be some of the sickest patients.”

“For starters, there are relatively few people who get seriously ill each year, too few, in fact, to have much impact on Election Day. Second, because of their health, they aren’t going to be organizing, protesting and doing other things necessary to influence Congress. And finally, some of them are so sick that they won’t be around for the next election. Given that, it is inevitable that sicker patients are most likely to suffer under a system of Medicare-for-all.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

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U.S. FWS to Review Lynx Status in Maine

At the end of the review, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will decide whether to maintain the lynx’s current status as a “threatened” species, to bump it up to “endangered” or to remove the cats from the endangered species list. The finding will then inform the agency’s next step as it creates a recovery plan for lynx.

“I believe that, at the very least, they should keep the status quo or even up-list it” to endangered, DeJoy said. “I can’t imagine that the feds will de-list the lynx. There just aren’t enough of them.”<<<Read More>>>

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