losangelesnewstoday.com
losangelesnewstoday.com August 22, 2017


National monuments a 'massive federal land grab'

27 April 2017, 02:17 | Amanda Barker

This means that Trump can strip away some of Bears Ears' acres, but it may not be possible for Trump to rescind Bears Ears' national monument status. Utah Representative Rob Bishop spoke staunchly against the designation of Bear Ears National Monument in February.

The order aims to shrink the borders of national monuments created by previous presidents, which Mr Trump called an "egregious abuse of federal power".

"With this review, the Trump Administration is walking into a legal, political and moral minefield", said Kate Kelly, public lands director for the Center for American Progress.

"Secretary Ryan Zinke is doing an incredible job - and he never overlooks the details", Trump said on April 26 before signing the order in comments posted on the White House website, adding that in the first 100 days, his Administration has "taken historic action to eliminate wasteful regulations".

Earlier today, Pearce's spokeswoman, Keeley Christensen, told the Journal that "Congressman Pearce believes the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks monument should be protected; it is the footprint that raises concerns and limits access to these lands for multiple uses by surrounding communities".

Republicans in Congress have sought to rein in the 110-year-old law that gives presidents the power to establish national monuments without approval from Congress.

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"There's no doubt the president has the authority to amend a monument", Zinke said at his confirmation hearing.

The monuments the Trump administration will review include Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Basin and Range National Monument, as well as a host of Pacific Ocean monuments, including the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

"I hope we will be able to move forward sooner than later but I fear that if we don't finalize the exchange within the next couple of months, it won't get done", Dunn said.

Cantwell said the expected Trump order is a pretext to attack the designation of Bears Ears, which covers more than 1 million acres of land that is sacred to Native Americans and is home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings. But that action has been met with vocal opposition from environmental groups, outdoor outfitters and Native Americans who argue federal protection is not only better for the environment, but better for the economy in a rural, economically depressed area of the Beehive State. A 2014 study by the nonprofit research group Headwaters Economics found that indicators such as employment, population and per-capita income held steady or improved in sections of the West where monuments larger than 10,000 acres had been established since 1981. But it does direct Mr Zinke to suggest "legislative changes or modifications" to the monuments under review. California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada have the most national monument acreage in the country under threat. Trump's order opens the door to that possibility. Designating millions of acres for scientific observation or sheltering rare species, they contend, is a "federal land grab" that ignores the wishes of local residents, although the lands already belonged to the government or were under federal control. "It allows us to reconnect back to our culture and lands, because historically, we've just been put on reservations".

"Tremendously positive things are going to happen on that incredible land", he said of Bears Ears. Conservatives disagree, and Zinke on Tuesday said the issue is untested in the federal courts.



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