In our opinion: It's time to exempt Utah from the Antiquities Act

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  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Jan. 15, 2019 12:49 p.m.

    @Counter Intelligence
    Commontater was correct:
    Bishop's goal since taking office has been to remove all environmental protections for Federal lands so that his extraction industry donors will be happy."

    See the Donations (bribery) listed below:

    Oil & Gas
    $102,700

    Casinos/Gambling (weird we don't even have casinos in Utah)
    $99,300

    Northrop Grumman (Make sense Hill Air force base)
    $14,000

    Congressman Bishop’s legislation — HR 3990, the “National Monument Creation and Protection Act” — would place extreme and onerous restrictions on the use of the Antiquities Act, rendering it a toothless and effectively meaningless law.

    This completely unnecessary. Congress has full authority over America’s public lands. If Congress decides a president has abused the Antiquities Act, it has the power to erase or modify a national monument designation at any time. But seldom does for the obvious reason, most American's love our open spaces an parks.

    Greed is what seems to drive the GOP, everything should be for sale.

  • Flipphone , 00
    Jan. 15, 2019 9:59 a.m.

    The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from the Consulate at Bergen, Norway.



    Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard of temperatures in the Arctic zone.





    Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.



    stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.



    Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic,

    while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before

    ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.



    Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea

    will rise and make most coast cities uninhabitable.



    I must apologize. I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2 , 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post 96 years ago. This must have been caused by the Model T Ford's emissions or possibly from horse and cattle gas.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Jan. 15, 2019 9:49 a.m.

    @Bill Keshlear wrote,

    "A cluster of extraordinarily rich and well-organized environmental organizations"

    Who are you talking about?

    Nonprofit organizations have, by definition, no money left over after expenses. The key phrase is "after expenses", which are program expenditures, fund raising, and salaries.

    At Greenpeace and Sierra Club, the top salaries are under $87,000.

    By comparison, the 2015 compensation for Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the "nonprofit" NRA, was $5,100,000.

    If you know some "extraordinarily rich and well-organized environmental organizations", please let us know which ones you're referring to.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2019 9:08 a.m.

    ConservativeCommonTater

    "Nice try at deflection, but Bishop's goal since taking office has been to remove all environmental protections for Federal lands so that his extraction industry donors will be happy."

    Really? Then why did he propose a national park, state park, national preserve, and two national monuments?

    You not only proved "2 bit" absolutely correct (you are the extremist by ignoring facts and resorting to quantifiably false demagoguery), you dug your hole deeper

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Jan. 15, 2019 8:58 a.m.

    @2Bits wrote,

    "BTW nobody's giving land away to extraction industries, they can't own it, they can only lease it. "

    2Bits, please google Pikeville, Kentucky and look at the aerial maps. See those large grey patches amidst the mountains? That's where coal companies, who were also leasing land, blew the tops off of those mountains, scooped out the coal, and left a wasteland. Decades of rain running off of these exposed surfaces have leached out all sorts of unpleasant chemicals which destroyed the life of the streams and the fish in the rivers they flowed into.

    Talk to the people in the Pikeville ward and get a feel for how they regard the "extraction industry" that destroyed the [publicly owned] mountain land and then disappeared--leaving the mess and its effects for the locals to deal with. Which the state government, lacking the funds, is doing nothing about. The ones I spoke to bitterly regret what the Kentucky state government let the coal companies get away with.

    Do you think this will not happen in Bears' Ears? Or do you think it will and you're fine with that? Please let us know.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2019 7:43 a.m.

    2 bits - Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 1:02 p.m.
    @ConservativeCommonTater
    RE: "Rob Bishop IS the environmental extremist! He did not want to "preserve" ANY part of the parks, monuments, preserves and wilderness"...

    or

    "Rob Bishop wants to give away all the land to extraction industries"...
    ---
    Sounds like we found our "Extremist".

    Nice try at deflection, but Bishop's goal since taking office has been to remove all environmental protections for Federal lands so that his extraction industry donors will be happy.

    Yes, we've found the "extremists" as you said, and all of Utah's Republican elected representatives fit the bill.

    Utah does not want to preserve anything if there is a dollar or campaign donation involved.

  • Freiheit Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2019 6:56 a.m.

    Water Rocket: "This antiquity act business only affects western states since all eastern states OWN the land within their borders. What is fair for one should be fair for all! Incidentally, our founding fathers stated that government should NOT own land."

    Wrong and wrong. The eastern states do not "own the land." It was sold to private owners long ago, most of it by the federal government. As for the federal government not owning land, this was pretty much settled when Jefferson, one of the Founders, bought Louisiana.

  • dulce et decorum est , 00
    Jan. 14, 2019 10:04 p.m.

    In the name of democracy, this opinion piece would, ironically, begrudge the authority of a democratically elected president, as granted by a democratically elected legislative body, to protect lands owned by the people. Under the approach supported by the article, these lands of the people would become liable to the exploitation and profit of a few special interests. Taking up the opinion’s concern for democratic control, I think a little thought experiment would be in order. I can think of no protection extended to lands in Utah under the Antiquities Act that would not be ratified by the true owners of these lands, namely, ALL the American people, if the matter were put before each and every American citizen with an equal vote.

  • Bill Keshlear Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 4:54 p.m.

    A cluster of extraordinarily rich and well-organized environmental organizations and their political supporters have ignored what used to be a core value among progressives: “The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy.”

    The only publicly engaged group that deliberated land-use issues in southeast Utah after former Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) attempted to mediate some sort of resolution beginning in 2010 was a 14-member work group called the San Juan County Lands Council. The council met over a period of months, held open meetings to discuss and modify their plans, then in the summer of 2015 offered up a proposal for national conservation areas, wilderness, and development zones. Other proposals were written in secret.

    As Winston Churchill supposedly said, “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” The council's effort was messy but it resulted in a practical compromise. The group could’ve formed the nucleus of future collaborative efforts to solve county problems had it not been swamped by more powerful undemocratic forces with varied and competing interests.

    Now, it's "see you in court."

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    Jan. 14, 2019 4:08 p.m.

    The biggest problem with those who used their power under the Act did not follow the rules of the Antiquities Act -- The president is authorized to reserve " parcels of land which in ALL cases should be confined to the SMALLEST area compatible with proper care of the objects to be protected." --- It appears in the cases being discussed that the word ( Smallest Area ) was even considered.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 2:42 p.m.

    @wasatchcascade
    "Four out of five National Parks in Utah, began as Monuments."

    Yes: and if environmentalists hadn't fought with Bishop, that would be five out of six with a new Dinosaur National Park (and new potential parks at Cleveland and Bears Ears Monuments)

    And if environmentalists would stop knee-jerk vengefully fighting with Chris Stewart, there could be six out of seven national parks with his proposal to turn Escalante Canyon into a National Park

    it is myopic environmentalists who are putting the bigger wrench into this

  • Akman Santaquin, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 2:21 p.m.

    People wanting to live in the civility of Utah but love the heavy hand of far removed federal power to violate the will of Utahns has been a steady insidious creep of special interest groups who fear Utahns having local control.

  • water rocket , 00
    Jan. 14, 2019 1:49 p.m.

    Any time a single person (president) can arbitrarily dictate how land within the borders of any state should be used, then yes, it definitely should get congressional AND local support. The environmentalist extremists have repeatedly stated that they would have never allowed the pioneers to settle here had they been here first. This antiquity act business only affects western states since all eastern states OWN the land within their borders. What is fair for one should be fair for all! Incidentally, our founding fathers stated that government should NOT own land.

  • water rocket , 00
    Jan. 14, 2019 1:48 p.m.

    Any time a single person (president) can arbitrarily dictate how land within the borders of any state should be used, then yes, it definitely should get congressional AND local support. The environmentalist extremists have repeatedly stated that they would have never allowed the pioneers to settle here had they been here first. This antiquity act business only affects western states since all eastern states OWN the land within their borders. What is fair for one should be fair for all! Incidentally, our founding fathers stated that government should NOT own land.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 1:41 p.m.

    To "Frozen Fractals" so then you agree with me that it isn't the state government that you should be worried about. Any construction on the land would be from Federal Government action, not the Utah State Government.

    To "ConservativeCommonTater" I never said that the people near the land got any more say in what is done with it. I only said that they know more about how the land is being used than the POTUS that has never been there.

    Can you tell us why somebody who has no idea how the land is actually being used should be able to dictate and make land less accessible?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 1:02 p.m.

    @ConservativeCommonTater
    RE: "Rob Bishop IS the environmental extremist! He did not want to "preserve" ANY part of the parks, monuments, preserves and wilderness"...

    or

    "Rob Bishop wants to give away all the land to extraction industries"...
    ---
    Sounds like we found our "Extremist".

    Extremists are easily identified by their use of "Never", "Always", "Every", "All", and other extreme terms.
    ===

    Just because he doesn't as large a designation as you, doesn't mean it's None, or All land given away.

    BTW nobody's giving land away to extraction industries, they can't own it, they can only lease it. And we have limits on how much of the land can be leased (Federal land leases are very limited and controlled). Not "All" of it. So maybe your comment is false, or at least a little over-the-top.

    ===

    @Weston Jurney
    RE: "Want to see what happens to a magnificent scenic wonder that does NOT get national park protection? Go visit Niagara Falls"...
    ---
    I've been to Niagara Falls. LOVED it.

    ===

    IMO we should require Congressional approval first. Approval/oversight by the elected representatives of the people from all the States, not just one man who may have an agenda.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 12:58 p.m.

    @ConservativeCommonTater -

    "No he did not want to "preserve" any part of the parks, monuments, preserves and wilderness. Your comment is completely incorrect.'

    Are you projecting today? Because your comment is completely incorrect.

    If you actually took the time to look up Bishop's plan you would see that it created a new Dinosaur National Park out of the existing monument. It created a brand new Cleveland Quarry National Monument in the San Rafael Swell. It created both a Bears Ears National Monument and Preserve over much the same lands that Obama designated. It traded state lands to create an expanded Goblin Valley State Park - and yes - it released (not sold) land in the Uinta Basin for mineral exploration leasing.

    The fact that you ignore such basic quantifiable facts is exactly the extremism that got us to this point

  • wasatchcascade Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 14, 2019 12:23 p.m.

    Four out of five National Parks in Utah, began as Monuments. And the same exists for most National Monuments in the West. When Grand Teton was created, there was loud objection and Wyoming at the time became exempt from the Antiquities Act. Decades later though, retired politicians stated on the record that they regretted their actions and if it was done over they would have accepted Teton National Park and the Antiquities Act. Go to the GSENM and see first hand what has happened once Monument protection shrunk in half. And go into Bears Ears Country and see what has been happening for the past 20 years. If this paper and Utah politicians supported broad wilderness areas, that would be one thing, but there is objection to that also, along with National Monuments and National Parks. Amazing, so many that don't know the landscape and contours of many regions, and still they object their preservation.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 12:09 p.m.

    Redshirt

    "Does the POTUS who has most likely never set foot in the area that is being designated a national monument know what goes on there better than the people who live within a 50 mile radius of the monument?"

    No, Trump does not know what is best for National Monuments, and the people within 50 miles of any monument do not have any greater say than any other American that also owns the land.

    Counter Intelligence - Salt Lake City, UT

    "Ironically if environmental extremists had actually worked with Rob Bishop on his lands bill - more land than the entire Bears Ears Monument would have been preserved as part of nuanced system of Parks, Monuments, Preserves, State Parks and Wilderness"

    Rob Bishop IS the environmental extremist! No he did not want to "preserve" any part of the parks, monuments, preserves and wilderness. Your comment is completely incorrect.

    Rob Bishop wants to give away whatever land he can to extraction industries, which does not mean "preserving" the land.

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 11:32 a.m.

    Want to see what happens to a magnificent scenic wonder that does NOT get national park protection? Go visit Niagara Falls.

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 11:25 a.m.

    In 100 years what will our descendants care about more? How the economy was in 2019 or how we preserved the natural beauty around us?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 11:07 a.m.

    When the Antiquities Act is being Abused... I agree. But right now it's not being abused.

    I guess you could say we need to act now to prevent future abuses, but that would be the only rational I can think of. Nobody's proposing using the Antiquities Act today. But in 2 years that could be a completely different story. But if you wanted this, you probably should have pushed it when there was a Republican majority in the House. It has almost no possibility of passing now.

    It became illegal for the President to abuse this power in Wyoming. Now it requires a vote of Congress to establish or expand National Monuments there. I guess we could be next.

    Google "Antiquities Act - WikiPedia"...
    Go to "Reduction in Powers" section

    A law was passed requiring Congressional consent for any future creation or enlargement of National Monuments in Wyoming.

    Same in Alaska (for withdrawals of greater than 5,000 acres)

    1,880,461 acres for Grand Staircase, and 315.4 mi² for Bears Ears... both would be way within that size requiring Congressional approval.

    So maybe we may need the same rule here, to prevent abuse of the act...

  • Flipphone , 00
    Jan. 14, 2019 11:04 a.m.

    The surest way to destroy a wildness area is to advertise the area to the public by making it either a national monument, or, a national park.

  • MJPSF San Francisco, CA
    Jan. 14, 2019 10:50 a.m.

    "I can get behind a national monument designation being temporary and requiring legislative confirmation within a year. "

    The problem there is that, as we've seen with Sen. Lee doing with the public lands package at the end of the last Congress, one person can block legislation from advancing. That gives them veto power over the wishes of the rest of Congress and the nation. That's hardly democracy in action.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 10:18 a.m.

    Ironically if environmental extremists had actually worked with Rob Bishop on his lands bill - more land than the entire Bears Ears Monument would have been preserved as part of nuanced system of Parks, Monuments, Preserves, State Parks and Wilderness

    As long as the left uses the antiquities act as a weapon rather than a tool, they should not be surprised when people hit back with weapons of their own

    Environmental extremists are the ones who prevented Dinosaur National Park, Cleveland Quarry National Monument, Bears Ears Monument and Preserve, an expanded Goblin Valley, etc. from being created via a congressional path. So they should look in the mirror and stop projecting blame for their extremist dysfunctional environmental politics onto everyone else

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 10:13 a.m.

    @Redshirt
    "Why do the liberals think that this will change the ownership of the land? The BLM land will remain BLM. Nobody, other than the federal government, will be building anything on the lands"

    They literally carved out parts of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase that they considered to have mining interests.

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    Jan. 14, 2019 10:02 a.m.

    These lands belong to all of us, not a handful of Utah Politicians.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Jan. 14, 2019 9:14 a.m.

    Doesn't matter to me. I don't see anything in Utah worth preserving. In Idaho, we don't mess around with National Monuments, we create Wilderness Areas. Unlike Utah, Idaho isn't run by a handful of rural county commissioners.

  • rdk36532 , 00
    Jan. 14, 2019 8:58 a.m.

    Who can trust the US Congress to do things worthwhile?
    The US Government should sell all nonessential public land and pay off the National debt after first constructing appropriate barriers and devices on the southern border

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 8:23 a.m.

    Why do the liberals think that this will change the ownership of the land? The BLM land will remain BLM. Nobody, other than the federal government, will be building anything on the lands. If any land is sold off to private owners, again, it will be the Federal Government that does so, the state will have no more control over the lands than what it currently does if this bill passes.

    To "Utah_Happyman" but who understands better how the lands are currently being used? Does the POTUS who has most likely never set foot in the area that is being designated a national monument know what goes on there better than the people who live within a 50 mile radius of the monument?

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 8:13 a.m.

    Proximity to public land does not give one more ownership of it. Utah residents are blessed to have so much public land and access to it. I worry about ceding control of America's public land to people who constantly preach for more private ownership and local decision making by cattle ranchers, mining owners and real estate developers.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 7:58 a.m.

    I encourage all of congress to defeat this bill. Utah leaders have shown time and time again that they will roll over for the extraction industries who 'donate' to their campaigns.

    Vote no in committee. Vote no if it gets to the floor.

  • eldonp Parowan, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 7:55 a.m.

    If we accept the logic of this argument, then both Obama and Trump were equally wrong, or as my mother used to say, "Two wrongs don't make a right." Of course, the courts have yet to rule on whether Trump's actions were legal.

    To pass the buck to congress, though, doesn't make any sense. Is congress any less political than the president? Are state legislatures--think about Utah's one-sided legislature--any less political? The answer is of course not. In fact, many would argue that a one-party state is less representative and less democratic than even a terrible president.

    And every time one of our elected leaders starts harping on state's rights and so-called local control, he or she assumes that everyone in rural Utah agrees with them, which is patently false.

    Presidents will continue to use the Antiquities Act to protect antiquities. That should be the test--is the act being used properly? At Bears Ears, it certainly was used properly by Obama. Yes, the whole process is political. Elections have consequences. National elections, unlike those in a one-party state, actually represent the will of the people, for better or worse.

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 7:56 a.m.

    Oh yeah. For starters, let's get rid of Capitol Reef, which began as a National Monument. I say, let's give it back to that guy who wanted to turn it into a flagstone quarry.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 7:55 a.m.

    As usual, the Deseret Editorial Board is wrong on any issues involving the environment and the rights of the American people.

    Federal lands with Utah do not, and have never, belonged to Utah. They are owned by ALL American people. The board is nothing more than an extended opinion of the elected Utah representatives.

    "A bill reintroduced by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, this time co-sponsored by Utah’s junior senator, Mitt Romney, would exempt Utah from the act, requiring not only an act of Congress, but one of the state legislature, as well, before new monuments could be created in the Beehive State"

    Another "message bill" that will go to court and Utah taxpayer expense.

    Keep Federal lands away from Utah's politicians and the theocratic powers within Utah.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 7:33 a.m.

    I’d feel a lot better about the central message in this piece if Utah legislators weren’t bought and paid for by real estate developers and extraction industries.

    They’re looking for a personal payday, not the protection and wise use of public lands on behalf of us.

  • Zabilde Riverdale, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 7:27 a.m.

    If he wants broader suport, he needs to make it a blanket nationwide amendment. Not a special protection for Utah alone but for every state and community. I disagree with it needing an act of congress but it should require action and support from the state Governor or Legislature before a President can declare a monument. And no restriction on shrinking or growing any monuments. If it needs protection and the state supports it, declare it a monument. But if it's determined to be too large then if the state requests it then a president should be able to reduce the size allocated as they have been able to do and have done for decades. The two largest cuts to monuments prior to Trump's action were by the Democrat presidents Wilson and FDR.

    Any monument declaration or adjustment should require local support from the state that will house it. And this protection needs to be extended to all 50 states, not just Utah.

  • Don Bixby Centerville, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 7:19 a.m.

    I can get behind a national monument designation being temporary and requiring legislative confirmation within a year. Taking away decree power completely removes the intended nimbleness. The part about state approval is a go-to. Any national monument is going to already be federal land, so they aren't stealing anything when they designate how to use those lands. A better process for inholdings needs to be found.

  • Freiheit Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 6:53 a.m.

    There is a long list of areas which began as presidentially designated national monuments and later became national parks. Utah is blessed with several. Almost all were vehemently opposed by local interests. Eliminating them now would also be opposed by local interests. Given the long record of positive effects of the Antiquities Act and the short-sighted parochialism, particularly of the Utah legislature, this proposal by Lee and Romney seems especially unwise.

  • Birdman1990 Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 6:37 a.m.

    Whatever’s best. The last thing I ever want to see is trump tower and a wealthy only fenced communities around the Grand Canyon, Zion, yellow stone you name. No I don’t trust Utah leaders.

  • Utah_Happyman Orem, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 6:38 a.m.

    Such a travesty, that Lee and Romney propose. Public lands belong to the public not just those who live near by.