Sen. Mike Lee proposes bill to block presidents from using Antiquities Act in Utah

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  • Giles Goat-Boy Monticello, UT
    July 13, 2018 11:11 a.m.

    "Soltysiak said the Sierra Club want to see the laws regarding Wyoming and Alaska reversed. She said those situations involved massive amounts of federal land and were much different than the one in Utah where "we've seen the complete gutting of two of our national monuments.""

    That's pretty funny. The use of the AA in Alaska that led to their exemption did involve a massive amount of federal land. I mean, it's Alaska.

    But Wyoming? Uh, no. Their exemption stemmed from the creation of Teton NM/NP, which is not a massive amount of land compared with the Utah mega-monuments. In fact, at 310,000 acres total, Teton NP is about 1/10 the size of GSE-BE.

  • Matt Adolphson Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2018 10:01 a.m.

    As a long time Utahn, I cannot read these comments without offering at least a little rebuttal:

    @Counter Intelligence
    It was not the “intransigence if environmental extremists” that killed Rep. Rob Bishop’sPublic Lands Initiative prompting President Obama to utilize the Antiquities Act to designate Bears Ears, it was the fact that Bishop’s proposal was so full of loopholes benefiting the extractive industries and negating any land preservation measures included within.
    It is not ‘outside liberals’ that desire to see the wild characteristics of these lands preserved. It is countless thousands of Utahns and fellow Americans alike.
    Same to @BigLib stating that this is for ‘east coast elites to use as a private playground’. Entirely inaccurate.
    Last is @Diligent Dave
    Deed these lands to ranchers and sell the rest to ‘homesteaders of various kinds’... really? Is that what you desire for our nations open spaces and public lands? Wow. Sounds like your living in the frontier days of the wild Wild West...

  • Thimk Preston, ID
    July 13, 2018 7:58 a.m.

    Lee is obviously counting on a Democratic president in the near future.

  • BigLib Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2018 12:36 a.m.

    Utah has long been the punching bag for Eastern and West coast elites who want to use our state for their own private playground. The people that live in Utah have a right to make a living other than just as a service industry to tourists visiting the state. Most of the acreage that the elites want to lock up contains valuable mineral, timber and range resources that are needed to support Utah's growing population. Mr. Bishop has a sensible approach, 640 acre limit, that more than meets the original intent of the Antiquities Act.

  • robin138 springfield, VA
    July 12, 2018 11:33 p.m.

    The American Antiquities Act of 1906 was signed into law on 8JUN1906 by Republican President Theodore Roosevelt. The US Senate was composed of 58 Republicans and 32 Democrats, while the US House of Representatives was composed of 251 Republican members and 135 Democratic members. The Fifty United States of America are sovereign over the state of Utah and the Utah state legislature.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2018 9:50 p.m.

    Trump should designate most of the East Coast wetlands from Maine to Florida as a national monument and protect them from condo development.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    July 12, 2018 7:58 p.m.

    Utah has seen too much abuse, by Bill Clinton & Barack Obama of the Antiquities Act. This is an appropriate bill to get (hopefully) passed and put into law.

    Of course, this wouldn't be such an issue, had the 17th amendment been passed, which eliminated an essential 'check and balance' the framers of the US Constitution wisely included in it.

    My school teachers tried to brain wash me (and probably effectively did most all other students), by saying that the election of senators by the state legislatures was because the 'aristocratic' framers didn't trust the common man.

    What I don't trust is people who either don't see the real and good reason that was in the Constitution, and/or liars who claim other reasons.

    Anyway, this sounds like some great legislation. I hope Lee can get it passed and made into law.

    Next, somebody, get legislation to give Western states their sovereignty by deeding land to ranchers who have leased land for 30 or more years, and selling much of the Federal lands to 'homesteaders' of various kinds who have lived in the states in question for 5 or more years!

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    July 12, 2018 6:51 p.m.

    For many reasons, I fully and completely support Senator Mike Lee on this issue.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    July 12, 2018 6:38 p.m.

    HEREALND - Mishawaka, IN. Indiana has only 1.7% federal land. You take your pot shots at Utah, too.

    Hey TerraPack, I simply stated facts. The only pot shots are fired by you.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    July 12, 2018 6:20 p.m.


    "Short sighted is allowing one person (President) to control the destiny of millions, when our country has been set up on a system of checks and balances. Congress should certainly be involved as well as the state which is directly impacted."

    Destiny of millions? How many miners and lumberjacks are there in Southern Utah? 40? 50? And how many kids today want to be miners when they grow up? Compared to the millions of us who want to see these beautiful lands protected, I'd say the loggers and drillers are near extinction.

  • TerraPack Sandy, UT
    July 12, 2018 6:09 p.m.

    eastcoastcoug - Danbury, CT. His tiny state has only 0.3% federal land. Attaboy eastcoast coug, you tell us how it oughta be.

    THEREALND - Mishawaka, IN. Indiana has only 1.7% federal land. You take your pot shots at Utah, too.

    Craig Clark - Boulder, CO criticizes Sen. Lee, while Colorado has nearly the entire east half in private hands.
    ""Unfortunately, what was once a narrowly targeted tool for preventing looting on federal lands has become a weapon urban elites use against hard-working rural Americans," Lee said."

    Senator Lee was right on point with this comment. Many new states were coming into the union. Utah was only 10 years a state when the Ant. Act was passed.

    Transportation in the West was very limited then. Trains and horses kept governments from knowing much of what happened in the new states. Communications were very slow then, too.

    That's why the Ant. Act was passed.... and why it's as outdated as "talking movies".

  • There You Go Again St George, UT
    July 12, 2018 6:03 p.m.

    The very junior senator from Utah will do any crazy thing to appease his base as well as those who contribute money to his campaign...

    For example, one leeite above suggested the whole problem rests with Clinton and Obama.

    America dodged a major bullet when the reality show host saw the folly of nominating lee as SCOTUS Justice.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    July 12, 2018 4:02 p.m.

    Here is an idea make it illegal for presidents to designate national monuments after their first term. They always do it before leaving office so they don't face voters and political backlash.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    July 12, 2018 3:12 p.m.

    Great Bill! Thank you Sen. Lee for protecting Utah from all the outside liberals who want to make it their private playground.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    July 12, 2018 3:09 p.m.

    Brad Peterson- The Homestead act was available into the 1970's. They were giving it away. Regardless, you cite what you believe was supposed to happen after Utah became a State, well after they became a state, they were bound to their agreement! "That the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof; and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes; and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States, and said Indian lands shall remain under the absolute jurisdiction and control of the Congress of the United States; that the lands belonging to citizens of the United States residing without the said State shall never be taxed at a higher rate than the lands belonging to residents thereof; that no taxes shall be imposed by the State on lands or property therein belonging to or which may hereafter be purchased by the United States" that's part of the agreement.

  • homers Provo, UT
    July 12, 2018 3:05 p.m.

    Can you say "dead on arrival"? Lee is good at the DOA legislation.

  • hahnenbergerwk salt lake city, UT
    July 12, 2018 3:03 p.m.

    The people who say these decisions were made without local input know they are lying. Because the rancher and miner that have controlled things are losing power they are upset. They stole this land once how dare you try to control what they do. All economic studies show it is worth more protected but you will never get a Republican politician to admit that.

  • hahnenbergerwk salt lake city, UT
    July 12, 2018 2:54 p.m.

    The antiquities act is needed to circumvent people like Mike Lee

  • Summit Park City, UT
    July 12, 2018 2:51 p.m.

    It is appalling that the Sierra Club would issue this statement:

    "Ashley Soltysiak, director of the Sierra Club's Utah chapter, called the bill "incredibly shortsighted”
    A seemingly elitist club that has lost much credibility with me.

    Short sighted is allowing one person (President) to control the destiny of millions, when our country has been set up on a system of checks and balances. Congress should certainly be involved as well as the state which is directly impacted.
    Thank you Sen. Mike Lee

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2018 2:44 p.m.

    This is madness right? The best thing about Utah is that it is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Republicans love the outdoors too. Yet, our politicians are waging a war over trying to gain control over some of our most beautiful and rare land so they can sell it to oil and coal companies.

    How do any Utahns support this? This has nothing to do with state rights or keeping the Government at bay.

    This is about money. Our politicians get a lot of money from coal and oil to push selling our land to oil and coal companies.

    It should be about doing what is best for Utah. Selling our best land to foreign companies like American Oil Sands is not good for any Utahn, with the exception of the politicians filling their pockets of course.

  • Brad Peterson South Ogden, UT
    July 12, 2018 2:43 p.m.


    Your history is incomplete. The federal government was supposed to continue to sell lands in Utah after Utah reached statehood. But the federal government changed policy right about the time Utah became a state because selling lands ran into hiccups elsewhere.

    But the federal government kept promising they would sell the land back. For example, the 1934 Taylor Grazing Act starts by saying "In order to promote the highest use of the public lands pending its final disposal". But the final disposal never happened. By the 1970s, the federal government decided it would never sell the land as promised. So now the federal government manages that land as BLM land, and Washington DC gets to decide how much we can use that land, and they a good chunk of the revenue from them.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    July 12, 2018 2:43 p.m.

    I am glad Senator Lee is trying to do something, but the right thing to do is repeal the Antiquities Act. It unnecessarily puts legislative powers into the hands to the executive and has been used to gain political advantage. In our modern age of instant communications there is no need for an "emergency" declaration of a monument using the Antiquities Act.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2018 2:41 p.m.

    Ironically Rep Bishop attempted to resolve land use issues by setting up compromise Bears Ears legislation that created a series of national monuments, national parks, conservation areas , state parks and energy production areas that actually protected more land than Bears Ears Monument did, yet the intransigence of environmental extremists killed the proposal, setting stage for the backlash to Obama's fiat.

    The need for changes to the Antiquities Act are a direct result of Clinton's and Obama's abuse of the Antiquities Act.

  • Brad Peterson South Ogden, UT
    July 12, 2018 2:36 p.m.

    Why this is a good bill: No environmentalists complain about Wyoming's and Alaska's exemptions. They don't protest about it, or request new legislation to undo the exemption, or demonstrate how the exemption harmed those two states. It's a non-issue.

    So apparently the exemption is good for those two states.

    Utah should join Alaska and Wyoming in getting exempted. If it works for them, it should work for us.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    July 12, 2018 2:30 p.m.

    The Federal government sold land in the states East of the Mississippi through land offices which they located based on where people were establishing settlements. It should not be hard to understand that most eastern states have very little federal because people wanted to buy it!

    In 1862 Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law which opened up millions of acres of Federal land to private ownership at no cost. The Federal government could not give all the Federal land away in states like Utah. Because the land isn't all that productive. Is it any wonder that for over 60 years the Deseret Ranch has been profitable in the cattle industry, not in Utah, but Florida? So now we ended up with a larger portion of western states being owned by the Federal government.

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2018 2:20 p.m.

    Fat white people on Razrs is good for my business so go ahead and destroy our wilderness, I guess

  • Big10 Milwaukee, WI
    July 12, 2018 2:10 p.m.

    "How about we do the same for anyone who wants to drill, mine or log in our national forests - only an act of Congress gives you permission."

    We do. It's called the Mineral Leasing Act enacted by congress. And the disbursement of those natural resource rights are administered by the BLM according to the provisions set out in the act of congress WHICH INCLUDES restrictions as to the acreage and amount a lessee may hold. Seems reasonable that Congress applies limits to the antiquities act. The stabilizing force of our government rests in checks and balances of power. The antiquities act as presently written is lacking in checks and balances.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    July 12, 2018 2:01 p.m.

    How about we ask President Trump to sign the a Land Deed to the 30 million acres as promised by Congress for joining the Union?

    Not just for Utah, but all the Western States that Congress failed to deed land to the States for joining the Union.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    July 12, 2018 1:50 p.m.

    Alaska and Wyoming already enjoy this protection. 66% of our land in Utah is under federal control. Clear record of politically motivated creation of massive monuments (~3M total acres, almost 4,700 square miles, over 5% of our State) by two different Presidents. Utah needs this protection moving forward.

    Most States east of Kansas don't even have 5% of their land under federal control. Over 5% of our State has been declared National Monuments without any congressional or local review.

    In addition to GS and BE, our State has 6 other National Monuments totaling almost 1,800 sq miles, 5 National Parks totaling some 1,300 sq miles, and 6 major Wilderness areas totaling just over 1,000 sq miles.

    In total then, 8,800 sq miles of Utah, over 10% of our State, is designated as National Parks, Monuments, and Wilderness areas.

    This bill does not remove land from federal/public control. It simply prevents the President from single-handedly changing the designation of federal land in Utah from multi-use to National Monument.

    If there is more land that needs to be removed from multi-use, let's have congress and the legislature come to that determination rather than one person.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    July 12, 2018 1:38 p.m.

    "Presidents would be prohibited from creating or expanding a national monument in Utah without approval from Congress and the state Legislature under a bill Sen. Mike Lee has introduced."

    Why would we ever pass a law requiring that the Federal Government be required to get approval from a "state legislature" on how they will use Federal land?

    Now back up to the first half of that statement. Lee proposes that "Presidents would be prohibited from creating or expanding a national monument in Utah". Why is he looking only at one side of the President's options regarding monuments? Here is what he should be proposing: "Presidents would be prohibited from creating or expanding, and eliminating or reducing a national monument in Utah".

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    July 12, 2018 1:34 p.m.

    How about we do the same for anyone who wants to drill, mine or log in our national forests - only an act of Congress gives you permission. Why are we more concerned about stopping a President from setting aside public land? Why should someone be allowed to make money off destroying our heritage? Unless they are contributors to your campaign and party, of course, Senator Lee.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 12, 2018 1:32 p.m.

    "Unfortunately, what was once a narrowly targeted tool for preventing looting on federal lands has become a weapon urban elites use against hard-working rural Americans," Lee said.
    I dread to contemplate what America might be in for had Lee been selected for the Supreme Court.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    July 12, 2018 12:56 p.m.

    Sounds very sensible to me. The power to determine the use of millions of acres of public lands should not rest solely in the hands of one person.