Sen. Hatch staffer offers predictions on Utah monument reductions

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  • Melancholy Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 16, 2017 5:58 p.m.

    Add my name to the list above. This is a pure waste of time on the part of Republicans. They want, so badly, to think they can simply change the decree of President, but they can not in this case. Trump, Hatch, et.al., can sputter all they want. Like so many laws passed by the legislature in Utah, this one will also fall into dust when it hits the courts. Dozens of lawsuits are being prepared at this moment and this alteration of the National Monuments thing will be tossed as laughable before the ink is dry. Say goodbye to all those dollars your elected officials spent in the name of making themselves look good and all the cash it will take to defend this losing effort in court. Pure, self-aggrandizing folly on the part of the Republicans.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 10:38 a.m.

    Hatch is selling our children's birthright for 20 pieces of silver and the faux news crown loves it.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 9:13 a.m.

    One of the significant cultural and scientific values contributing to the designation of the GSENM is its fabulous paleontological resources, including many ceratopsian dinosaurs. If the downsized boundaries of the GSENM do not track the Morrison Formation and other significant fossil bearing members, we will know that the decision was based on politics and not on an appreciation of science.

    @Fair Flower: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Many find the stark desert landscapes appealing. However, the monument designation was based on other values besides scenery, including paleontological resources. Do you find the Homestead National Monument in Nebraska scenic?

    @1Reader, Fraheit: You are both off. According to figures posted by the Utah Automated Geographic Reference Center, there are 54,633 square miles of federal land in Utah, or 64.4% of the total land area. The breakdown is: BLM 42%, Forest Service 15%, Park Service 3.9%, Defense Dept 3.3%, plus a tiny smidgen of Dept of Energy land.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 8:35 a.m.

    I'm sure we can then predict how well the Trump Administration will do in court as a result.... This will be litigated.

  • Freiheit Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 7:36 a.m.

    1Reader. Check out the history of our land policies. Lands between the original 13 states and the Rocky Mountains were sold by the Federal government, with a percentage given the states. After 1862, the Homestead Act gave land to individuals. BTW, the monuments involved are already federal land, not an increase on Utah's 75%(69%).

  • 1Reader Alpine, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 12:45 a.m.

    Briscoe's comparison is funny--since Teddy could have obviously designated these monuments at that time but didn't (or have we created more land that he didn't see?), and even after these huge reductions, they will still comprise hundreds of thousands of acres, like the Grand Canyon.

    How about this: after 25 Eastern states hand over just 20% of their land to the federal government, then Utah will increase from its current 75%.

  • goodnight-goodluck Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 10:37 p.m.

    being no legal precedent for a sitting president to shrink or revoke a monument mad by a previous president, he can declare what he wishes and the courts will say no as they've done to all the rest of twittered executive actions.

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    Nov. 14, 2017 8:36 p.m.

    @ Utah Navajo, We will see you in court.

  • Fair Flower Layton, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 8:31 p.m.

    My husband and I were driving home from an out of state visit, when we came upon a sign that told us we were in the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument. It was VERY ugly. We did get a good laugh out of it. I'm all for the monuments, but preserving that area was just plain ridiculous.

  • kigalia ,
    Nov. 14, 2017 8:17 p.m.

    Presidential establishment of national monuments under the Antiquities Act has protected many valuable sites, but the more greedy the acquisition, the more contentious the designation. Litigation and legislation related to the law have been pursued throughout its history. Displeasure with Pres. Roosevelt’s proclaiming of the Jackson Hole National Monument in Wyoming in 1943 prompted litigation of presidential authority under the Antiquities Act, and led to a 1950 law prohibiting future establishment of national monuments in Wyoming unless Congress made the designation. President Carter’s establishment of monuments in Alaska in 1978 also was challenged in the courts and led to required congressional approval of land withdrawals in Alaska larger than 5,000 acres. Clinton’s proclamation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante NM in 1996 has been similarly contentious and questionable. Western states are tired of being treated like colonies, and no one misunderstood that more than President Obama. Whether a prince of power, or pawn of environmentalists, he has caused more turmoil in the lives of hard working Americans (via 26 Nat'l Monument designations) than any other president.

  • oaklandaforlife Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 7:21 p.m.

    Senator Hatch,

    Your predictions vary from day to day. The Monuments ( as they currently stand ) written in law, are here to stay and you know, as you should, there is absolutely nothing you and your experience can do to change a law that cannot be revoked by ANY means. Congress won't touch this issue and you dang well know it.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Nov. 14, 2017 7:07 p.m.

    The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 recognizes the power of a President to declare national monuments, but it does not recognize the power of a President to decrease the size of national monuments.

    Der Fuehrer, Donald (grab 'em by the wherever) Trump, gave himself that power.

    Thankfully, the United States Constitution does not highly value would-be dictators OR their anti-American decrees.

    Trump's decrees will be overturned.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    Nov. 14, 2017 5:50 p.m.

    Another example of the press going ballistic over pending action by Pres Trump. They want to make it look outrageous and unreasonable.

    Yet when you look at the details and not at his language this pending action is much more in line with what the Antiquities Act was originally intended to do. It was Obama and Clinton who abused the Act and actively worked against the interests and wishes of local authorities (at least in Utah).

    I believe this action will certainly be found to be legal after the lawsuits are done. The only thing left is for Congress to amend the Antiquities permanently so that a future President cant change these Monuments right back again.

  • tabuno Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 5:13 p.m.

    It's my understanding that the President was supposed to have the power to set aside federal land until Congress could make a final determination about his decision. The idea was to preserve potentially historical and vital public property that would be irreparably damaged or spoiled and then allow the legislative process to make a more informed decision about the validity of the President's decision. If this is the case, the President can't withdraw land from protection, that's Congress's responsibility. A federal law suit appears likely to finally decide this matter.

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 4:44 p.m.

    Rather than battle the symptoms let's go straight to the problem. I like that the President can take immediate action to protect antiquities. I don't like that it's a permanent decision. The Antiquities Act needs to be amended to include a provision that Congress will review and formally approve the monument within a certain amount of time and that the Dept of the Interior will use its BLM Management resources to aid in that review. The review should include public comment as well as additional comment from any parties directly involved (lease holders, school trust land administrators, Native American Tribes). And there should be a set time defined in the Act, 10 years, 20 years.

    The President should have the ability to protect antiquities from immediate danger, but those designations should in no way be permanent (or until a future President decides to review them). Permanent Designations by only one branch of the Govt is outside the usual Checks and Balances and should be avoided. We need to correct this, Congress needs to lead out on these or similar changes!

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 4:21 p.m.

    Like most of Trump's actions, this attempt to minimize the Monuments will be overturned by the courts. You won't find many attorneys who don't have skin in the game to conclude differently. Congress gave the President the right to create a monument but not the right to rescind it or alter it.

  • Utah Navajo Montezuma Creek, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 4:12 p.m.

    just by half for Grand Staircase-Escalante?? over 100,000 acres for Bears ears??? these dang monuments need to be totally reduced to just a few thousand acres

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 4:10 p.m.

    This will be tied up in court, until long after Trump is impeached. Much ado about nothing.