Gary Herbert: 5 myths about Bears Ears

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  • Cruise Broomfield, CO
    Feb. 27, 2018 6:56 p.m.

    First cogent discussion I have read on this. The hyperactive, breathless arguments of others haven't squared with my experience in the region and with working and recreating on government lands. The snarky comments by folks who don't live near nor truly understand the complexities of the region do little to truly address the issue. I am particularly disappointed in the outdoor industry, especially Patagonia, for exploiting this for obvious business benefit while lathering up the clueless or dishonest with the facts and who are emotionally driven.

  • DallasJeff Irving, TX
    Dec. 26, 2017 9:57 a.m.

    Some of the "facts" listed in this article are myths. You would think an author making a "fact" vs "myth" article would take research time to know the difference.

    Article says "Fact: BENM was designated on federal lands that will remain under federal ownership regardless of monument status."

    That's a myth. 110,000 acres within Bear Ears are legally owned by the State of Utah, not the federal government. The majority is federal.

  • Egyptian origins Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 12, 2017 5:26 a.m.

    Just released by an actual Investigative News Agency:

    Bears Ears was cut because of Uranium mining.

    Uranium mining lobbyists bribed to have Bears Ears cut and they got it.

    Trump was claiming it was Clinton responsible for the Russia-Uranium scandal until a certain New Anchor exposed the truth.

    We are being lied to and deceived similar to the nuclear waste disposal attempt back in the day.

  • LeRoy B Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 10, 2017 3:56 p.m.

    Great editorial. More people should read this. I will bet that if you brought up these points to the perpetual demonstrators, they would not have a clue.

  • Brandon Alleman Portland, OR
    Dec. 6, 2017 4:22 p.m.

    Someone should disavow the president of some of these myths.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Dec. 6, 2017 7:14 a.m.

    "That was five strawmen which I have never heard anyone claim."

    I guess you need to read the Deseret News and this forum more often. There was a Democratic legislator who wrote two weeks ago in an Op-Ed about a strip mine being developed. No one has come forward to say which company will strip mine and for what.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Dec. 5, 2017 2:40 p.m.

    Re: "By executive order, Trump has reduced the Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) that President Barack Obama designated less than one year ago. "

    Donald Trump has done no such thing. Only after all the litigation and court challenges are over can we say Trump's action was successful.

    Do you know why Republican politicians lie so much? It's because the truth almost NEVER supports their preferred beliefs.

    I think it's fair to say that Gary Herbert is a typical Republican politician, isn't he?

    . . . Like Donald Trump, Orrin Hatch, and Roy Moore?

  • barfolomew Tooele, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 1:08 p.m.

    @ a_voice_of_reason

    "Our country has, and should have, tremendous guilt for what was done to Native Americans in the past."

    Absolute nonsense. Why the heck should you or I feel guilty? I've never taken land from a Native American, have you?

    As you point out, these things happened over a century ago. You nor I had anything to do with that. And then you tell us that, following the logic, Missourians should give land back to former Mormon landowners. But they took that land from someone else. And they from someone else all the way down the line. If we follow this logic to its conclusion, every human on this planet should be burdened with guilt because everyone's ancestors fought against someone else for property and such all through the ages.

    I refuse to feel guilty for anything I haven't done myself. Nor should you. Not for our defeating the American Indian, not for slavery, nor wars with Mexico nor anything else someone else did before I was even born.

    I refuse to bend to the liberal ideology of always being a victim of other people's transgressions and having to exist in guilt-ridden perpetuity.

    That is the voice of reason.

  • Common Sense Guy Richfield, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 12:07 p.m.

    The false narrative of the left is so far from reality that I don't understand how anyone even believes them.

    " Notice how our honest Governor left out the GSENM and the Coal track that matches the retracted land.

    Nope this is about trying to take our country back to the turn of the century, coal the fuel of the future, civil rights of the 19th century are good enough, a new industrial revolution, complete with no protection for workers, financially or safety. Ignore the damage, cause the next generations will clean it up."

    Didn't I just see a story about creating a National Park? Reality or spewing radical speaking points. You be the judge!

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 11:50 a.m.

    Well written article by our governor. The biggest argument I can make for the original Bears Ears National Monument is that many of the Native American tribes supported it. Our country has, and should have, tremendous guilt for what was done to Native Americans in the past. That said, I also recognize that we should still seek compromise solutions - including compromising their ideal use of land. If we were to return all lands to Native Americans summarily for the wrongs committed in the past, we would need to summarily remove many Missourians from lands belonging to descendants of LDS landowners there. We would need to return most of the western United States to Mexico. Etc, etc, etc. Wrongs committed over a century ago don't necessarily mean that Native Americans are the only stakeholder that should get a say. With that strongest argument for the full monument status checked, I'm inclined to be encouraged by our governor's approach to find reasonable, targeted, compromise protections and allowances in those lands.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 10:29 a.m.

    I agree with samhill.

    Most Americans, and most Utahns like preservation and nature. It would have been less controversial if President Clinton had done it with a little respect for Utah. The way it was done made in unnecessarily controversial and offensive to some.

    He could have done it with less controversy. But there will always be some controversy when you are single-highhandedly doing anything to 1.5 MILLION acres of a State (especially a State that didn't vote for you).

    IMO Part of the controversy comes from the single-person approach that goes with the Antiquities Act. That goes against everything we've been taught as Americans (in a Representative government by the people, not one ruler).

    IMO Trump overreached yesterday.
    Obama overreached a little last year.
    Clinton overreached a lot.

    Just involving elected representatives would help make it less controversial (not one person dictatorial decision).

    That's what we're used to in America (the people having a voice, not capricious power for one individual on millions of acres of any State).

    Bottom line...
    It's inherently controversial. But the Dictator part makes it extra controversial (IMO)

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 9:35 a.m.

    Glad to see somebody pointing out the myths in the arguments we keep getting from the radical-left on this, and exposing the facts.

    We get so much emotion-based stuff from these people... it's almost impossible to inject the facts without them blowing up in your face.

    It's not the end of the world.

    It won't be turned over to the State.

    You will not need to squeeze between oil rigs, pipelines and factories.

    It will be as it has been in that quite and secluded corner of our State. Just with increased protection for those small areas that really NEED protection (areas with ancient Indian artifacts).

    The whole 1.5 million acres didn't need this type of protection. It was just an over-reach by the radical environmentalists who think humans (and especially Utahns) are vermin infesting their land.

    Some areas needed more protection. The areas that fit the Antiquities Act criteria. But not the whole 1.5 million acres in that corner of the State (IMO).

    The sensitive areas (with antiquities) will get the protection they need.

    Other areas will get the protection they need (BLM/NFS protection). Antiquities Act was not intended to protect trees and sage brush.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 8:35 a.m.

    An excellent, fact-centric treatise on what has become an unnecessarily controversial topic.

    Had both Presidents Clinton and Obama merely treated Utah with some reasonable respect and honesty when they chose to exercise what ultimately became their dictatorial overreach, most of the vitriolic aftereffects could have been avoided completely.

    My hope is that this will be eventually resolved through our representative legislative process, as it should always have been.

    Having presidents, including Trump, wield such capricious power over the usage of such vast areas of the country (and the inhabitants within them) is NOT the way things should be done.

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    Dec. 5, 2017 6:17 a.m.

    @andyjaggy writes,

    "As far as protection of archaeological resources goes, we are probably better off with a smaller monument that is actually staffed and patrolled, then with a large monument that isn't staffed at all because it's tied up in gridlock and controversy."

    You're talking like it's an either-or choice.

    How about leaving the monument the way it is and beefing up security staff? If you don't see money in the budget for that, talk to your esteemed senator and tell him to ditch the corporate tax giveaway. That will provide money for monument protection and children's health programs and a whole raft of other programs which should be demanded by people who consider themselves pro-family.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2017 5:48 p.m.

    If this is not a big deal because it's federal land either way then why do you care so much about getting rid of the monument designation? Something changes, otherwise you wouldn't care.

  • Bobster , 00
    Dec. 4, 2017 5:10 p.m.

    I confess my relative ignorance in connection with the Bears Ears land controversy. I believe the land should be put to the best possible use for the greatest number of people. If the land belongs to the US government, then let Congress make the decision about the use of the land. With land that has a wide variety of potential uses, decisions on use will be difficult. I am sure not everyone will be happy with the decisions made. Hopefully, those tasked with making such decisions will do so thoughtfully and balance the uses in a fair and equitable manner.

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    Dec. 4, 2017 5:09 p.m.

    @ 65 boss, There is a disconnect on the mineral value around BENM, IMHO there will be leases issued within two years.

  • ToddWorley Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2017 5:04 p.m.

    It's funny that Utah lawmakers like Hatch, Lee, Herbert are worried that the Obama designation was done "without consent," of "locals." I'm sure the Native Americans gave their "consent" in the first place for the land to be taken from them. Seems like a double standard? You want local control of the land, so long as that local control is not in the hands of Native Americans.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Dec. 4, 2017 4:53 p.m.

    As far as protection of archaeological resources goes, we are probably better off with a smaller monument that is actually staffed and patrolled, then with a large monument that isn't staffed at all because it's tied up in gridlock and controversy.

    I've been confused this whole time as to how the monument is hindering the economic growth of the region like I here from the anti-monument people, yet there is little to no mineral resources in the area as even Gov. Herbert admitted. Surely they can't be talking about grazing, which would still have been allowed on the monument.

  • taatmk Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2017 4:38 p.m.

    So much misinformation out there. All I know is from personal experience. Hardly saw another soul when visiting Bears Ears prior to monument status. Now the trails and parking areas are packed. Permit systems are on the horizon. Thanks to the designation, the area is attracted more and more pressure. Perhaps not the best way to preserve antiquities when its a resource issue with minimal staff.

  • wasatchcascade Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 4, 2017 4:33 p.m.

    Party identity and ideology guides so much of this rhetoric on public lands. Spinning 5 myths with statements that appear "factual" is a reminder that others drafted this piece without fully understanding the dynamics of the situation. Transfers? contrary to "myth", the Utah Governor and legislature have been in full support of wresting control of Federal lands and placing them back with the state. They have even funded millions for the effort. Exploitation? WSA's in the Greater Canyonlands area could be revoked by Congress at any time, and already some are impacted by illegal vehicle traffic and use. Extraction: Who knows if and when any relevant natural gas pipeline might be forecast for the region - it's possible. Archaeological? Looting and vandalism, is rampant in the area, and most of it done by locals; and guns are fired at sites and local law effort does nothing. Outdoor recreation? Where is the evidence that mountain biking, rock climbing or vehicle travel on designated motorized routes is going be restricted? This not the case. Those in Monticello, Blanding, Bluff - want to ride UTV's whenever, where ever, and to be able shoot guns/rifles and spite Obama, who they hate.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Dec. 4, 2017 4:29 p.m.

    Most of the tribes petitioning for the NM designation aren't even from the Bears Ear area. Some "passed through" at one point in history. Ok. So I have passed through most states in the lower 48 - I guess that gives me standing too.

    This is all political nonsense. A smaller area designation will be just fine. Stop with all the emotional rhetoric.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    Dec. 4, 2017 4:01 p.m.

    Good questions to be answered directly without the biased slant from liberal media.

    I still would have preferred to see boundary's that were easy to manage and see via maps etc. Nothing wrong with going a little larger in size if that could have been done.

    Very interesting that the amount of land reduced by these changes was more than the current size of Zions, Arches, Canyonlands and perhaps Bryce Canyon combined. Goes to show you how much the Antiquities Act was abused from its original intent when those Monuments were first created.

  • eldonp Parowan, UT
    Dec. 4, 2017 3:49 p.m.

    Gary, you might need to brush up on the definition of the terms you use, but of course a person is entitled to his own opinions, not his own facts. Here are five actual facts. 1. Members of the GOP called Obama's declaration a "land grab." Maybe they were the ones confused about changing land ownership. 2. National monuments, wilderness areas, wilderness study areas and regular old BLM and FS land have different management policies. Some things such as mining and logging are prohibited in national monuments. Thus, designation does matter. 3. Trump's rhetoric promised all kinds of new extractive-industry jobs. You might let him know about the lack of oil, gas and minerals. 4. "National monument status will protect the rich archaeological sites and artifacts in the Bears Ears region." Good point. To argue that law enforcement has a tough job doesn't invalidate this fact. 5. "National monument status is a boon for outdoor recreation." Good point, Gary. Look at any gateway community for proof.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 4, 2017 3:27 p.m.

    That was five strawmen which I have never heard anyone claim.

  • Ben Lentz Farmington, UT
    Dec. 4, 2017 3:23 p.m.

    Does anyone else see the contradiction between the last two "fact-myths". National monument status doesn't really protect the land, but it also limits the kinds of activities allowed on that land. Next you'll be telling me that rules against climbing on Delicate Arch don't really protect the landmark, but instead hinder tourists' enjoyment of it. Sure, "National Monument" status isn't always necessary to protect certain lands, but you do need to enforce rules in tourist hotspots to protect them.

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Dec. 4, 2017 3:10 p.m.

    65TossPowerTrap said: "Fact: Mineral resources beneath Bears Ears are scarce. There is no developable oil and gas. "

    Notice how our honest Governor left out the GSENM and the Coal track that matches the retracted land.

    Nope this is about trying to take our country back to the turn of the century, coal the fuel of the future, civil rights of the 19th century are good enough, a new industrial revolution, complete with no protection for workers, financially or safety. Ignore the damage, cause the next generations will clean it up.

  • IAHawkeyes Council Bluffs, IA
    Dec. 4, 2017 3:01 p.m.

    Trump did a great thing, here. So glad to see it! Reasonable Americans won this one.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Dec. 4, 2017 2:42 p.m.

    "Fact: Mineral resources beneath Bears Ears are scarce. There is no developable oil and gas. "

    So much for the myth that the original size of the monument was causing locals to be mired in poverty.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 4, 2017 2:35 p.m.

    If Rob Bishop had not been so partisan and exclusive this issue would have resolved in Congress, which is what Obama gave him time to do. If Utah want's the Monument boundaries changed they'll have to work that thru Congress. Trump does not have the legal authority to support his executive overreach that he signed today. This will be one battle the Indians will win over the white man.