Op-ed: Reforming the Antiquities Act into a law for the people

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  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 10:09 p.m.

    Sutherland Institute yet again. Glossy story to cover up the real motives by Sutherland. That is the right wings agenda to use public lands for the highest bidders.

    The Antiquities Acts has been used by every single President in the last 40 years. So it wasn't just an Obama thing. However the State of Utah led by the GOP is using $14 million of our taxpayer funds to supposedly have these lands returned to the State. The one thing these GOP legislators, including Herbert fail to remember that those lands were deeded over to the Federal Government as part of Utah's Constitution.

    Sutherland your real motives are showing through again, just a badly as the GOP's to "take State lands back".

  • PamFlinders Sandy, UT
    April 20, 2017 12:27 a.m.

    Nice try Sutherland institute! You try to come off as a folksy local but your institution is nothing but a loudspeaker for the right wing brand of environmentalism. (drill baby drill)

    I was happy when Bears Ears was designated precisely because I don't trust the state government to be forward thinking enough to preserve this land. The land belongs to the United States and every person in it - not just to Utahns. It's important to have undeveloped land where animals can live and we can all access the beauty of the wilderness for years to come. The money from leasing will be short lived and scar the land forever. Go drive through Duchesne county if you want to see what I'm talking about.

    As an avid fisherman and camper, I say keep the land in federal hands.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2017 10:36 a.m.

    2 bits (4/18 9:26 am):
    “@Lagomorph - 12:04
    RE: ‘The nation by and large is satisfied with the act as it stands’...
    ---
    He pretends NO legislature has problems with it (false), so everybody must be OK with it.” [emphasis added]

    You miscomprehend my statement. No, I didn’t even come close to saying that no legislature has problems with the AA. I never suggested unanimous support. I said “by and large” the nation is “satisfied,” which allows for some opposition. To your credit, you did some research and were able to cite a whopping two—that’s two, one more than one— cases where the act was limited by Congress in over a century of its existence. To me that shows a broad and general consensus that the AA is not that controversial or oppressive. Even “National Apple Pie and Baseball Day” resolutions get more pushback than that.

    2 bits (4/18 1:31 and 1:33 pm): “I agree with using it ‘As originally intended’.”

    Then you should have no problem with the Bears Ears designation.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 18, 2017 4:49 p.m.

    2 bits,
    “. . . . Who are you protecting the land from? The public? It's public land! Protecting it from energy exploration? That's not AA's role (as originally written). Read it. . . . ”
    ______________________________
    Protecting the land from anything that imperils significant or historic features of the land is precisely the role intended by the Antiquities Act. Perhaps you might want to read it again.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 18, 2017 4:33 p.m.

    "This isn’t about left or right; it’s about the people’s right to have a meaningful voice in creating principled and sensible land management policy. Let’s start a dialogue and stand together."

    This is a well thought out and written opinion piece. And at its face value, I agree. But the rub has become the definition of "the peoples voice". As we have seen in politics - the peoples voice rarely has had anything to do with actual people, and more so with commercial interest wanting to use public lands for their businesses interest. Just look at the chaotic zoning in Utah and Salt Lake counties. Look at the battle for a homeless shelter. Remember how the state is freeing up government owned and paid for lands for developers - and the replacement will have LESS capacity then that which it is replacing.

    Often what it "right" is not what is popular. None of our national parks were popular choices when those designations were made. And yet today those are some of America's most cherished assets. Letting today's passions determine our kids futures is a poor way to manage anything.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 18, 2017 2:41 p.m.

    No, 2bits, Wyoming did NOT "sue over the Antiquities Act and win."

    That's not what happened. Not at all. Perhaps a little research is needed. Let us know when you've learned the truth.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 18, 2017 1:33 p.m.

    @Craig Clark
    RE: "This op-ed gives lip service to protecting public lands while seeking to undercut the strongest remaining protections they have left. The Antiquities Act must be preserved and defended as it was first intended and set up"...
    ---
    I agree it needs to be defended "as it was first intended". That's NOT how it's being used today. Read it.

    ===

    Have you read the Antiquities Act? Not hard. Google "Antiquities Act Text"...

    If you only have time for a summary.... Google "Antiquities Act - Wikipidia"...

    Some may be surprised to learn it doesn't say what you wish it says. Or what you hope it says. Or even what some Democrats pretend it says.

    Wikipedia:
    "This law gives the President of the United States the authority to, by presidential proclamation, create national monuments from federal lands"...

    Again..."From Federal Lands". The land already has some protection. It's already public land, managed by Federal agencies (BLM, NFS, NPS, etc).

    Who are you protecting the land from? The public? It's public land!

    Protecting it from energy exploration? That's not AA's role (as originally written). Read it.

    I agree with using it "As originally intended".

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 18, 2017 1:31 p.m.

    @Craig Clark
    RE: "This op-ed gives lip service to protecting public lands while seeking to undercut the strongest remaining protections they have left. The Antiquities Act must be preserved and defended as it was first intended and set up"...
    ---
    I agree it needs to be defended "as it was first intended". That's NOT how it's being used today. Read it.

    ===

    Have you read the Antiquities Act? Not hard. Google "Antiquities Act Text"...

    If you only have time for a summary.... Google "Antiquities Act - Wikipidia"...

    Some may be surprised to learn it doesn't say what you wish it says. Or what you hope it says. Or even what some Democrats pretend it says.

    Wikipedia:
    "This law gives the President of the United States the authority to, by presidential proclamation, create national monuments from federal lands"...

    Again..."From Federal Lands". The land already has some protection. It's already public land, managed by Federal agencies (BLM, NFS, NPS, etc).

    Who are you protecting the land from? The public? It's public land!

    Protecting it from energy exploration? That's not AA's role (as originally written). Read it.

    I agree with using it "As originally intended".

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 18, 2017 12:38 p.m.

    This op-ed gives lip service to protecting public lands while seeking to undercut the strongest remaining protections they have left. The Antiquities Act must be preserved and defended as it was first intended and set up. It is a public trust.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 18, 2017 9:26 a.m.

    @Lagomorph - 12:04
    RE: "The nation by and large is satisfied with the act as it stands"...
    ---
    He pretends no legislature has problems with it (false), so everybody must be OK with it.

    Wyoming had such issue with how it was used in their State... they sued, and won. The Antiquities Act can no longer be used in Wyoming without Congressional approval. Same in Alaska.

    Google "Antiquities Act - Wikipedia"...
    Go to "Reduction of powers" section...

    "Presidential powers under the Act have been reduced twice. The first time followed the unpopular proclamation of Jackson Hole National Monument in 1943. The 1950 law that incorporated Jackson Hole into an enlarged Grand Teton National Park also amended the Antiquities Act, requiring Congressional consent for any future creation or enlargement of National Monuments in Wyoming. The second time followed Jimmy Carter's use of the Act to create fifty-six million acres (230,000 km²) of National Monuments in Alaska. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act requires Congressional ratification of the use of Antiquities Act in Alaska for withdrawals of greater than 5,000 acres"...

    It has been opposed Lag. And amended. Due to abuse.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 18, 2017 8:31 a.m.

    If you don't think the Antiquities Act is being abused... Read one vote's 7:32 a.m. post.

    RE: "It hinders oil and coal prospecting and speculating"...
    ---
    Nowhere in the 1906 Antiquities Act does it say it was passed to allow Presidents to hinder oil or coal exploration.

    The Antiquities Act isn't about hindering oil/coal exploration.

    Google "Antiquities Act Text" Democrats...
    "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"...

    Is this the "Smallest area" possible? 2,112 mi² is the smallest area possible?

    Several smaller protected areas would have been more compatible with the act as written.

    Was it really to "hinder oil or coal exploration"... as One Vote stated?

    Hint: President wanting to hinder energy exploration is not covered by Antiquities Act.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2017 7:32 a.m.

    It hinders oil and coal prospecting and speculating. Those are core values when you can buy state legislators.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 17, 2017 1:04 p.m.

    Another good example of the Sutherland Institute's interpretation of the Constitution to mean that The Power Of Money Shall Reign Supreme.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2017 12:04 p.m.

    Anderson: "The Antiquities Act rejected the American system of checks and balances..."

    No, the act was the product of the system of checks and balances. Either chamber of Congress could have voted it down. The President could have vetoed it. The Supreme Court could have ruled it unconstitutional. The electorate, had it objected to the act, could have voted in legislators and executives to repeal it. That hasn't happened for over a century, which seems like evidence the nation by and large is satisfied with the act as it stands.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    April 17, 2017 10:00 a.m.

    No need to reform the Antiquities Act. Just repeal it and return to constitutional legislative process.

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    April 17, 2017 8:53 a.m.

    The op-ed is somewhat disingenuous , Sutherland is anti public lands in all forms.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 17, 2017 8:49 a.m.

    I think the antiquities act should include a requirement to check in with the people living in the State affected, and the people living in the area the President wants to declare a National Monument first. Then act. Not the other way around.

    There should be no rush.

    Why do Presidents who do this always wait till they are days away from leaving office? And for sure don't have to face the voting public again?

    Do it when you first take office. Not on you way out (almost as an after-thought)

    If it was that urgent, and that important... why did he wait 8 years to do it, and then pretend it's an emergency? Was it not an emergency 4 years ago? 6 years ago? 8 years ago? 40 years ago? 60 years ago?

    I mean what made it an emergency his last days in office?

    Same for Clinton. Why did he wait till end if it was so urgent?

    If Bears Ears was really "emergency protection"... why was it not an emergency 8 years ago? Or 20 years ago. Most of the abuse of antiquties in this area happend back in the 1950s. Not in 2016.

    There was no emergency in Bears Ears in 2016 besides Obama wanting to do something "environmental" on his way out.

    AA should be modified to prevent abuse.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    April 17, 2017 8:36 a.m.

    The people have had a voice in all of the National Monuments. They've elected the leaders who have used the powers decreed to them by the Congress of the United States. As was evident by Rob Bishops PLI ruse, nothing was going to be done by a Congress that has been bought by special interest to protect our public lands for future generations. The Antiquities Act is fine as it is. What we need to change is how our politicians are bought by special interests.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 17, 2017 8:34 a.m.

    Ok, how about a more radical solution. Do away with the Antiquities Act totally. Then have Congress do their job. How about that?

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    April 17, 2017 8:30 a.m.

    It already is.

    Local control has proven to be disastrous. Just look at what's happening in San Juan county. County Commissioners riding ATVs all over Native American sacred areas. Just the other day the Dnews published a report on San Juan School District proposing to build a new elementary school over the top of a Native American cemetery. We keep giving local control chances to show us they can manage lands and not just think short-term yet they keep blowing it.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 17, 2017 8:10 a.m.

    A law for which people? Those with short-sighted financial objectives, or the rest of us and future generations? Carbon extraction companies, or long term recreational interests? Private interests who will fence off the land, or companies that will thrive on bringing tourists in so all can enjoy these diminishing resources? Sutherland represents the former choices, the the latter ones.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    April 17, 2017 7:48 a.m.

    In an ideal world, of course we could come together and talk it out.

    However, we don't live in that ideal world, nor are we likely to see that ever. In the real world, the rich and powerful control the decisions made in our name. Our representatives are beholden to the major contributors to their election coffers, which generally are not the average person.

    You should always follow the money on proposals such as this. And most likely if you followed the money, you will find energy extraction interests. Those interests are inherently at odds with most Americans who want heritage lands preserved for future generation's enjoyment.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    April 17, 2017 7:30 a.m.

    Reforming the antiquities act into a law for corporations.

    Fixed your title for your true intent.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2017 7:19 a.m.

    This piece by Sutherland fails to recognize the relative powers being flexed in our society. It assumes, as does all right wing viewpoint, an equality among participants. The people who want preservation for outdoor experiences with their families are assumed to be equal in power with corporate interests who want to "drill baby drill." This is of course completely false, but this assumed equality lies at the heart of all right wing ideology.

    Because inequality prevails we need the Antiquities capability in its present form. Without it, there would be few or no federal monuments.