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Natalie Gochnour: Involve Utahns in national monument designations

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  • NickWI1983 Port Washington, WI
    Aug. 4, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    8 Any attempt to overturn or abolish the AA will never become law. No President will ever permit Congress to strip away such a longstanding executive power. Since any such attempt will be vetoed, it would require two-thirds votes in both houses to Override which comes to 290 in the house and 67 in the Senate. since the Republicans wont have majorities like that in Congress at any point in the foreseeable future, the Act will remain on the books, indeed such an attempt will invite blowback in the form of the President using the Act repeatedly.If anything, it is more likely that the limits imposed in Wyoming and Alaska will be lifted than it is that the act will be abolished.
    9 The states do not have the money or mindset to properly manage these federal lands. in Any event a part of the Constitution called the Supremacy Clause states that federal claims trump state or local claims to lands. the states cannot force the feds to turn over its holdings,the feds however could force the states to cede their lands, although it would be a major PITA to enforce.

  • NickWI1983 Port Washington, WI
    Aug. 4, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    (Continued from previous)
    6. Congress has since that Decision limited the Presidents power in two states- Wyoming and Alaska. a provision in the 1950 bill establishing Grand Teton as a park forbade any new national monuments in the state without Congress' ok. Since Congress has only set aside one new area as a monument during Obamas tenure, you can guess when Congress will approve a new area in Wyoming. "when pigs fly" comes to mind. In Alaska a provision in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) limits future monuments in the state to 5000 acres without Congress Ok. If not for this limitation, Areas like the Arctic, ANWR and Bristol Bay would have become monuments years ago.Both of those limitations should be scrapped.
    7 Congress already has all the power it needs to check the president. Congress has the power of the purse, and can defund or abolish monuments. Further only Congress can declare an area a national park or wilderness.if Congress acts on setting aside new areas, the Act is not used. since this Congress has failed to act, then President can use his long-tenured authority to do Congress' job for them.

  • NickWI1983 Port Washington, WI
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    (continued from previous)
    4 The Antiquities Act has been used by every President Since Teddy Roosevelt with the Exceptions of Nixon, Ford and Bush 41.the President use of it is thus in keeping with a long tradition of presidents using the power. some like Clinton, TR and Carter used it a lot. others like Truman or Lyndon Johnson used it rarely. Obama is likely going to break Clinton Record of 19 (he currently has 11) with the Park Services Centennial Coming up in 2016.
    5. Whatever Congress intent on limiting the scope of the monuments under the AA was originally, that became moot with a 1920 Supreme Court decision on the acts legality. a house Representative from Arizona sued to overturn the AA- he had set up a toll road in the Grand Canyon that was taken down after TR set it aside as a monument. The Supreme Court ruled that not only was the Act legal, it granted the President broad new powers to set aside areas that were much larger than Congress had intended. thusly, it became possible to set aside areas of millions of acres.
    (continued in Next post)

  • NickWI1983 Port Washington, WI
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    Let me clear up a few misconceptions.
    1. the reason the feds own 57% of Utah is due to vagaries of how Utah picked the lands it would use as a basis for funding and running itself when it became a state in 1896. like its neighbor Nevada, Utah picked what it believed was the choicest lands for itself and left the land it considered undesirable to the feds.this came out to be 57% and 84% respectively.
    2. Utah is third behind Alaska (69%) and Nevada (84%) in terms of land owned by the feds. the Land is question here is federal,thusly the President using the Antiquities Act here is not a land grab, since the land was never Utah's in the first place.that land in Greater Canyonlands likely would continue to be managed by the BLM, or perhaps would be managed by the Park Service.
    3 thee are other areas in Utah that deserve monument status. the Red Rock region, the San Rafeal Swell, and Desolation Canyon come to mind. Also. Glen Canyon should be upgraded to a monument, and its dam removed.before the dam was put in place Glen Canyon rivaled the Grand Canyon for its beauty.(continued in next post)

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    @ Diligent Dave

    Tourism does not make anywhere near the money mining, ranching and logging make? Tourism accounts for $5.5 billion of Utah's $82 billion economy. Minerals, coal, oil, and gas account for about $4.8 billion. Ranching and timber are so minor in economic impact in Utah that they account for less than 1% of Utah's economy.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    For over 150 years,
    The people of New York City are forever grateful for those who locked out the greedy land developers and protecting an area today known as "Central Park".

    A speck of nature - protected - in an urban jungle.

    If not for that --
    Central Park would just be another square block of the concrete jungle.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    Why act so surprised. Our whole country has already been declared his national monument!

  • Utah's Right? West Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 3, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    The federal government owns over half of Utah's land but less than 1% of states like Rhode Island, Iowa or New York. If Pres. Obama and these 14 senators want to expand federal protections on land, they should start in their own backyards first before proposing to further restrict activities in Utah.

    However if major changes must be made to rules regarding lands in Utah, Utahns deserve a prominent seat at the table. Local involvement and support are critical to land management projects. This principle is nearly universally recognized and accepted. The world would be appalled if a new national park were developed in Kenya or South Africa without the support of the local population. Utahns deserve similar respect and consideration in this important discussion.

  • Nancy L.V. Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 3, 2014 6:49 a.m.

    Two words: Government overreach!!!

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 11:47 p.m.

    Most Utahns live in highly urbanized areas. Those who suffer the brunt of these decisions that not only protect wilderness, but completely lock up land, excluding it ever from any other uses, are largely those who live in or near these areas. Tourism doesn't make anywhere near as much money as does mining, ranching, logging, etc.

    That the Federal Government still owns and controls a whopping 2/3 of the land in the State of Utah means we aren't really a state. We're more like a colony, with a couple of senators and congressmen who can vote, but who can't block much of anything by their tiny numbers.

    I say, rather, turn most all Federal lands over to the PEOPLE of the State of Utah. Texas doesn't even have anywhere near the amount of Federal land that Utah does, and its a MUCH LARGER state, geographically!

    Cut down the dill, and quit trying to pickle the state of Utah.

    BTW, the Federal government in recent decades has made many more stupid decisions, like allowing pine beetles to kill trees, and disallowing anyone from cutting them down either before or after they're dead. Not smart at all!

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 9:44 p.m.

    Presidential fiat? It is called the Antiquities Act of 1906, a law passed by a representative Congress, and has given us Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Arches, Bryce, Zion etc. If the state had a say, most Utahns would likely support Greater Canyonlands. Rural "locals" would oppose it, but they make up a miniscule part of the state's population. Should we allow .01% of the population of American citizens stop the designation of federally-owned lands into protected areas? Less than 5% of Utah's economy is from extraction industries. When resources are eventually depleted, the towns that grew from the exploitation rapidly decline. Tourism is a clean and stable industry that sustains communities indefinitely. Whenever an area is designated as a national monument or park, the resultant publicity increases tourism in those areas. Ask the business owners in Escalante and Boulder what Grand Staircase has done for them.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    Please Feds: Save Utah from short-sighted and bought-and-paid-for Utah "leadership"

  • Demo Dave Holladay, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 6:40 p.m.

    Utahns are already involved in monument designations. Most of us are in favor of them.

  • Jim Cobabe Provo, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    Most of the proposed land is already being "managed" by federal authority under various federal agencies.

  • Independent Thinker West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    Sure, involve Utahns in the discussions. And give their thoughts and proposals just as much consideration and credibility as they give to any of your thoughts and proposals.

    I don't understand why a national monument designation for already existing national park lands suddenly is cause for such great consternation.

  • AZ Enviro Pima, AZ
    Aug. 1, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    I totally agree that the input from citizens concerning the creation of this national monument would be filled with time-wasting vitriol. Such a shame because Ms. Gochnour is right - if we lived in a civil society anymore. But, we don't. Screaming, hate-filled paranoiacs take over sensible discussions of land use everywhere in the West these days. It's as if someone lifted a rock and all the scorpions from hell were let loose. Like I said, this is a shame because my husband and I love travelling around Utah's vast open areas. We have more than once been happy that the nice ranchers we encountered had bladed a road (an existing, long-established road!)and inadvertently enabled us to go further into Utah's hidden paradises. There are many thoughtful, nature-loving cowboys and local people who know "secrets" and have useful knowledge about these often forbidding landscapes. Too bad they are drowned out by the gangs of bullies.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 1, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    "Involving the locals" means endless, fruitless "negotiations" with the uncompromising, red-meat Tea Partiers who run this state. In the days of Sen. Bennett, negotiations might have been useful. Not any more.

    My plea to the President is "Don't waste your time. Just do it."

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    The problem with involving locals with invoking the antiquities act is that locals will always vehemently oppose it. The people of Arizona were furious when Grand Canyon National Monument was formed, they had plans to build 7 dams and mine it. Alaska threatened to secede from the US entirely when Carter created and expanded various National Monuments in Alaska.

    And of course when Clinton created GSENM the people of Utah were beside themselves, after all how can some Democrat come in and take our land! But most Utahan's today support GSENM.

    My view is this, there is not a Republican in the state that would be willing to sit down with Obama and help draw up a plan to transfer Utah land to federal land, all those bridges have been burned down, so I don't really see what the point is in involving state government.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    Utah controlled lands -- Beck Street, Magna, Energy Solutions, etc....
    Federal Controlled Lands -- Zion's, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Capital Reef..

    I agree with Real Maverick,
    Do precisely the opposite as this letter writer suggests.

    The People of Utah hate you anyway for no darn good reason,
    so forget them, and save our Country in spite of them!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    Some Utahans want to "take back the Federal lands" within our borders.

    They yowl loudly about Senators from those Eastern states trying to make laws that will affect our public lands.

    But according to the Sutherland Institute, 31.55% of Utah's budget comes from, guess where?

    Those Eastern taxpayers.

    Yes, Utahans, YOUR state government (and you) are being subsidized to the tune of 31.55% by Easterners and {GASP} even California!

    The thrust of the Sutherland article is an warning to Utah's lawmakers that they need to learn to live within their own income. Wise words. (Google: states receiving federal funds sutherland --- and it should be the first link you will see)

    What would happen to Utah --- and to you and me --- if those awful Easterners suddenly woke up and took back the money they are spending on us?

    And what would happen to our children and grandchildren when Utah's public lands have been locked up in private ownership?

    Shortsighted profiteering is greed and nothing more.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    These lands belong to the entire nation. They are controlled by the Federal Government, which represents the entire nation. It is the long term interests of the entire nation that should be considered, not short term, profit motivated interests of the local business interests. And that's exactly what this is about.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    I actually hope the President does the opposite of what this article instructs.

    President Obama, do whatever you want to our canyon lands! Protect them from those in our state who wish to exploit it. You don't need our approval. Our state will never like you. So do whatever you want! You don't need our approval.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 8:04 a.m.

    DN Subscriber: "Appeals for wilderness designation from any Senators other than those from the state involved should carry as much weight as me demanding you buy me a new car."

    Horrible analogy, it is completely within their right, proximity is not ownership.

    DN says "A little bit of wilderness is a good thing, but we have more than enough already."

    I beg to differ, but then again I use the lands set aside by visionaries and forward thinkers, and hate seeing private property, no trespass. My children will enjoy these same wonderful places too.
    More than enough, as they shot millions of American Bison,
    More than enough as they drill even deeper.
    More than enough, is fatally short sighted.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    The problem the state and the GOP has is a lack of leadership or trust on their side. They've had years to offer sensible solutions but instead their strategy has been to monkey wrench the preservation movement. Polls show Utahns overwhelming support additional protection but the GOP and it's leaders have allied themselves with extraction companies and local land users. Now the real threat of more protection is coming and they are scrambling to present themselves as credible, concerned, elected representatives. I for one don't trust them and suspect they're trying to run out the clock in hopes they can get an ally in the WH.
    Go BO and do what the majority of Utahns want, protect OUR public lands.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    Outrageous abuses of power must stop.

    Our Governor Herbert thinks he has a promise from Sec. Jewell, but unfortunately, President Obama seldom keeps his own promises and certainly would not feel constrained by any commitments made by some other administration official. We can expect Obama to make this designation in order to appease more of the radical environmental wing of his party.

    Appeals for wilderness designation from any Senators other than those from the state involved should carry as much weight as me demanding you buy me a new car.

    A little bit of wilderness is a good thing, but we have more than enough already.

    Perhaps if Obama wants to rescind the wilderness designation of some land along the southern border which is currently off limits to the Border patrol (but not smugglers and illegals) in exchange for adding some in Utah, then I would listen to the proposal.

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    Aug. 1, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    Ms. Gochnour failed to explain why Utahns might object to the federal government designating federal lands as a national monument. What alternative protection does she propose for these lands? Why exactly should Utahns have a say in the process? Not saying they shouldn't; I was just surprised to see that the editorial didn't really address any of these questions.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Aug. 1, 2014 6:52 a.m.

    Individual states have a terrible history of environmental protection. In California pristine wooded hillsides were blasted with water to recover gold, Montana, and other plains states, came within a 1000 buffalo of wiping them out completely, and Utah has a super fund site located in its most populous valley.

    After seeing Utah dither on solving its air pollution problems, and its visceral dislike for the president can you imagine the laborious, and endless, "negotiations" that the feds would have to endure to get Utah's okay on a national monument?

    Its better this way, keep the special interest locals out of the loop and get the process done!