Trump To Shrink Obama’s Utah Land Grab

Mere weeks before leaving office last year, President Obama created the Bears Ears National Monument with the stroke of a pen. One of the largest national monuments by land mass, the 1.3 million acres include artifacts and structures left by ancient members of the surrounding tribes, as well as “vast deposits of hydrocarbons.”

Following a review by the Interior Department of 27 national monuments and marine sanctuaries, the White House may be reducing the size between four to six of these federal lands, starting with Obama’s Bears Ears.

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Three of the five tribes who petitioned Obama to create the monument have vowed to sue, as have a number of environmental groups claiming that while a president can create these protected areas the executive branch can’t then reduce their size.

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16 Comments on Trump To Shrink Obama’s Utah Land Grab

  1. Great news. I hope that President Trump really reduces the size of these two National Monuments. They were both far in excess of what was intended and authorized by the original Act of Congress. Their creation was an affront to the people who live in this remote part of Utah. The outdoor industry is more destructive of these lands in the long run than any of the extractive industries. I can’t wait to see the gnashing of teeth and the protests that will be organized for President Trump’s visit to this area.

  2. I don’t know how oversized the Park is , but I do know Trump needs to go easy here. Obama was an Idiot no doubt , but even a broken clock is on twice daily and he may have been on to something with this one. The area is an Encyclopedia of History that can’t be replaced , I fear it’s a strictly left Brain thought process !!!

  3. I’ve been following Bears Ears closely, it’s where I go to recreate (and parts there around). In 96 Clinton pulled a fast one and grabbed Grand Staircase at 1.9 million acres, followed by O’s cheap shot coming in at 1.3M. Combined they are bigger than Connecticut. Both are on the chopping block, but details are unknown. Rumor is Bears Ears is going down to around 160K acres.
    GO TRUMP/ZINKE!!

  4. The Antiquities Act specifically allowed the president to name national monuments for the purpose of protecting singular features. Devil’s Postpile, the first national monument, is the perfect example, as just the formation and a reasonable amount of surrounding area was included. A million acres is far beyond what any single individual should be able to do.

    Having said that, only a couple of large-ish areas were named until Clinton (as I recall FDR had one or two large-ish ones. Clinton did a lot, and W actually did some very large areas although they are in US-governed ocean areas rather than land. And then 0bama of course. All of it far too much.

  5. “The public has made clear in overwhelming numbers that they want to protect these cherished lands.”

    Bullshit. The Feds set up public input meetings in a way at at a time that advantages so-called environmental groups. Average Joe citizen, even if he is aware of the meeting, can’t attend because he has to work, but the activists attend in mass, thereby allowing the government to declare “the people have spoken!” This is precisely what happened in my backyard with the Cascade-Siskiyou Wilderness.

  6. Drill, pave and civilize it all. It’s all desolate wilderness…pretty much just like all the desolate wilderness outside these park areas.

    Big desert like that needs the worlds largest aquarium or hokey rink or something.

  7. Many relevant sites within Bears Ears are already under protection. Those that are not are the responsibility of the BLM (Bureau of Land Management, not Black Lives Matter, for those of you who do not live in the West) who has chosen not to apply any special protections.

    Yes, there are artifacts strewn throughout South East Utah, but why should evidence of prior occupation bar current occupation and use? You cannot dig anywhere in that area without unearthing something from previous habitation. It is inhabited today because it is habitable and has been habitable, off and on, for millennia.

    The tribes cited in the article were not the first inhabitants. The Utes speak of using the campsites and tools left by the Anasazi and Fremont cultures. Those earlier cultures were not the first either. There is archaeological evidence of human habitation in Utah going back over 13,000 years with 6 cultural periods before the history of the current tribes.

    Bears Ears was sold to the local Ute, Paiute and Navajo (as well as Zuni and Hopi) as a retaking of traditional lands, a way to guarantee access to that area for traditional uses. I had dealings with some of these Democrat operatives 30 years ago. They play dirty and are only interested in co-opting the tribes under the Democrat umbrella.

    I hold no grudge against those Native-Americans I worked with. Their convictions are based on legitimate grievances, but I felt then that they were lashing out at the wrong people, which made them easy prey for the activists.

    The State of Utah and the Utah Congressional Delegation had been working for years on a management plan for the area called the Public Lands Initiative ( https://www.utahpli.com/ ). It was quite reasonable, but Obama and the various land use activist organizations could not allow a Republican initiative, and worse, locally driven, to be passed and signed into law by a Republican President. I encourage those who are interested to review the PLI in detail.

  8. ACPARKER: Thank you for providing that link. I’ve been following this issue for years. The Environmentalists will never be satisfied with anything reasonable that allows for multiple use. The truth is that very little is left that meets the designation of wilderness in this area. When Obama created this National Monument, his supporters never imagined that it could be overturned by Donald J. Trump. If he significantly reduces the Bears Ears National Monument, it will be the first victory in a long time for the people who live in and enjoy this part of Utah. They were ignored by the advocates of this great land grab.

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