the only amending the Antiquities Act needs is to lift the limits currently in
place in Wyoming and Alaska and to formally recognize the Presidents power as
permanent and seperate from Congress. Congress already has enough checks on the
President: Only Congress can elevate a monument to park or wilderness
status2 only Congress can abolish a monument. the presidents powers
are limited to land the feds already own or is given to the feds for
conservation purposes. the Act was passed in 1906 as a means to act quickly to
conserve areas like Mesa Verde. While monuments were likely intended to be
small, the only limit in the Act is that the area conserved is to be ' the
smallest area necessary to conserve the artifact within' Congress does not
act quickly in the best of times, since Obama took office Congress has only
created 2 national monuments - Prehistoric Trackways in New Mexico and Tule
Springs in Nevada- thats state first national monument since Lehman Caves was
absorbed into Grand basin National Park in 1986. since 1906 only 40 of the
monuments were created by Congress, the vast majority come from one President or
The Antiquities Act covers federal land -- land owned by all the people of the
United States. A person living in Orlando is as much a "local" as a
person living in Escalante. If the land is endangered by rampant, unrestrained,
self-serving interests, the President should have the untrammelled right to
protect it.I am not a big fan of Pres Clinton, but, having visited
Grand Staircase many times, I'm glad he made it a National Monument. I
don't care what his motivations were, I'm just glad he did it. I hope
Pres Obama will do the same for Greater Canyonlands, and soon.
Government works best if those nearest to it have greatest influence on what
happens. Thomas Jefferson was an advocate of strong local government, as have
been many of our finest leaders. As other posters have stated the Antiquities
Act was not intended to give a president the kind of power that Clinton grabbed
at every chance.
Opponents simply cannot point to one instance where a President created a
National Monument and it had a negative affect. In each and every time the local
economies became exponentially better.When the Grand Canyon first became a
National Monument, there was actually people living in Arizona who opposed it.
I'll take forward thinking any day. Humans just need to stop
@CHS 85Actually it doesn't beg to differ.It talks
ONLY about creation of laws by congress, it says nothing of the relationship
between t the states and the federal government.This is definitely
one act that need checks and balances. The founding father s never
wanted or intended for one man or even one branch to have such power.It seems only the "kingmen" or progressives want such power.The "freemen" certainly do not want this power given to any one man or
10CC,So why don't we just let Presidents, and people who are most
separated from the locals... make these difficult decisions? Decisions the
locals seem to not be able to figure out because they are confused by the local
interests, businesses, etc, etc...Because that's not how our
country works. That's totalitarianism.===And if
Congress can't be trusted... why have them? For that matter...
why have that whole nasty Constitution thing that tells us we should have checks
and balances, and that the States should have all but a few powers reserved for
the Federal Government??Let Presidents and people not confused by
local interests make ALL the decisions!
The Grand Canyon was vigorously opposed by locals when it was designated, as
were most of Utah's parks, monuments and wilderness areas.Some
decisions are best made away from the short-term, temptation-riddled interests
of the people who would benefit from opening up tracts of resources for
development.Who is in a better position to make wise decisions about
local land use policies: a city councilman, who happens to be best friends with
the developer... or maybe the governor of the state?By the same
token, the President is better able to resist temptations that locally elected
officials would have a hard time resisting. How many US Presidents have been
convicted of ordinary, garden-variety corruption, the kind we see all the time?
None.Congress can't agree on what day of the week it is... why
would anyone think they should have *more* authority?
CHS 85,Nobody said we should do away with the antiquities act (that's
a straw-man).So we don't have to imagine America with no antiquities
act. Nobody's proposing that.All they are proposing is
amending it.The bill amends it to require a public comment period
for locals to be heard. What's so "Bad" about that??===It has been amended twice already.Once in 1943 and
again during the Carter admin.Both times in response to Presidential
abuses of this power.Google "antiquities act - reduction of
powers"...or "Antiquities act abuses"...=== The original intent in 1906 to protect prehistoric Indian ruins and
artifacts. It's been used for more things since then. Sometimes even to
punish a political opponent.That's when Presidents get into
trouble... when they abuse it.Our congressional delegation asked for
a comment period when they learned what Clinton was going to do, but President
Clinton refused (had to gitter done, only had days before he was out of office).
Imagine a country with no Antiquities Act. Those who know why the Antiquities
Act was established appreciate what it has done to preserve vast amounts of
scenic and historic areas. Those who don't know why it was established
just cry "federal takeover." Study up on it. Learn how
Grand Canyon National Monument was established and why a unilateral action was
necessary. Go to Alaska and see firsthand why it needed to protect vast tracts
of unique land. Go to the outer islands of Hawaii and see why the coral reefs
there needed to be protected. Really learn about it, don't
just take Rob Bishop's interpretation of the Antiquities Act to be the
gospel. There may be a hidden agenda there. There's lots of impartial
information out there about it.
@Rufio"State sovereignty should trump federalism in most
cases."I think the Supremacy Clause in the inspired Constitution
would beg to differ.
@ 2 Bits You make a false assumption about who knows what about our
lands. I was flabbergasted when I read a report from then Senator Bill Bradley
of New York. He listed over 70 areas by name (many of which I had never heard of
and I am a Utah mountain and wilderness enthusiast) which would be protected by
monument, park or wilderness designation in Utah. He had done his research and
knew more about Utah scenic lands than out entire congressional delegation
combined. I wonder if Bishop has even hiked in Grand-Staircase
Escalante. I have been there over a dozen times since it was created, and it
would have been likely less, if it had not been designated as a national
monument. That is also true with many out-of-state visitors. I am surprised that
the DN would take this stand and be concerned about the coal being "locked
up" there. Even the IPP is considering converting to natural gas.
So, Samhill, you are saying that our founding fathers would have welcomed the
Antiquities Act. Granting the President power to set aside priceless places for
all time is, in fact, part of that "check and balance" and is working as
they intended.As long as we have people like Rob Bishop in office,
we need things like the Antiquities Act to check and balance him and others like
Yes, the idea of check and balances AND diversity of voices should most
assuredly apply to situations like this.Those who believe that
Presidents should be granted this kind of power were the same type who resisted
the idea of seeking independence from King George.
The power of the Federal government was always intended to be balanced and
tempered. It is always a mess when a few fringe zealots hold an entire area,
state, or region hostage because their limited views are more important. There
needs to be less Presidential exclusivity and more "we the people"
involvement. State sovereignty should trump federalism in most cases.
Yes... bless you, bless you Bill Clinton (kisses his ring repeatedly)... You
saved Utah from being completely covered by evil oil wells.... bless you...Give me a break!===Was the whole grand staircase
area really in danger of being covered with oil wells? Was that
what motivated the President? I don't think so. It was
mainly to score some points with environmentalists (who's support his party
needed in the coming election), and at the same time poke a finger in the eye of
a group his party saw as their enemy (Our Congressional Delegation and Utahns,
specifically what he heard was a lot of land hating hick southern Utahns
infesting this area and threatening to spread into the grand staircase area).I thought this law was intended to preserve antiquities... not a
shortcut to smak-down businesses the President doesn't like without having
to go through Congress, any checks or balances, OR local input...
Rob Bishop’s idea of ‘checks and balances’ has been to keep
bi-partisan bills designating wilderness area from even making it to the floor
of the House to be voted on. And he expects us to believe that Congress rather
than the Executive branch should be empowered to expedite action in matters of
public lands designation?We saw an example of Congressional
diligence in the Federal Government shutdown last fall. That left Utah’s
National Parks closed to the public, thanks due to the Congressional Tea Party
Caucus of which Bishop is a member. It’s obvious to me whose interests Rob
Bishop is looking out for.
Too bad this bill will not pass. The premise of the article that "checks and
balance" be in place is very compelling. The people of the State should have
a voice in issues that affect their future. Big government, in too many instants
will disregard people and trample them in the name of "we know best." In
the case of Clinton's action, it was clearly an abuse of power that has
long-term affects on the State and especially the local residents of Southern
Utah. I suspect that most Utahn's would support protection of lands that
have sensitive and emotional value, however, before we allow any more misuse of
laws for political gain, let's see if we can get more diverse stake holders
involved, so that we can come to a working plan for as many people as possible.
Matheson and Bennett, showed us a good example of trying to work with both
developers, local residents, and environmentalist when they had their bill about
As much as I despise the corruption I see in Utah politics, two wrongs do NOT
make a right. Though just a small boy at the time of Clinton's land grab,
having grown up in Southern Utah and living there at the time our family knew
several people directly affected by Pres. Clinton's unilateral actions.The idea of checks and balances is an important one, and certainly that
sort of unchecked power hearkens more towards a Putin-like "democracy"
than it should. Locals deserve the right to have a say in any such actions, and
so I support reform in this matter.
Usually Progressives WANT to update stuff and move forward. The Constitution
is too old and out of date, but THIS 100+ your old rule can not change, not one
iota.... go figure. Just this one rule/law they can not be allowed
to be updated or amended... (because it works so well for them the way it
is).The amendment is just to add a comment period for local
residents to weigh in on the impact to them before it happens... is that too
much... to ask?I guess so....===Why would
you want any LOCAL input? Presidents and politicians in the East know WAY more
about what the impact would be to local people. I don't know why they
consult local people on ANYTHING... they know so much.
A President can take immediate action that prevents industry from charging in
and doing irreversible damage. From what I gather, Bishop’s proposal
offers no provision for keeping development on hold pending review. In come the
corporate lobbyists and lawyers. The only remedy then left before it’s too
late would be to obtain an immediate court injunction that may or may not be
Once again, the D News falls on the side of corporations and profit.
Congressman Bishop's bill is a terrible step in the wrong direction.
We're fortunate the bill will go no where outside of the House.
Utahn's are blessed to live in such beautiful country and to have had past
Presidents protect a few of our treaures with federal protection.
Are we still talking about 1996? Let it go.
Sorry, Deseret News, you are dead wrong on this. Clinton did the right thing.
All he did is preserve a lot of land from being destroyed by industry, preserved
for future generations. And Bishop's bill goes beyond your description.
It requires much more and is intended to serve special interests. Please, I beg
of you, come back to the middle. There are too many right wing interests served
by this paper.
Don't you think if we "tie up" to much wild land our grandchildren
will be able undue all of this reckless preservation?
Bless you Bill Clinton! If Utah's "leaders" had their way, The
Grand Staircase would be covered with oil wells.Why should a
president have such unilateral power? Because Utah's politicians
can't be trusted with the task of preserving anything. Enough said!