At the end of his second term in December of 2016, President Barack Obama infuriated Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee and other Utah Republicans when he created Bears Ears National Monument that would have protected roughly 1.35 million acres of land in southeast Utah from future development. In a statement, the former President said the designations "protect some of our country's most important cultural treasures, including abundant rock art, archaeological sites, and lands considered sacred by Native American tribes."
It was President Bill Clinton that protected Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument from any future development in 1996. The southern Utah monument, as with Bears Ears, were protected by both Obama and Clinton using The Antiquities Act of 1906, which authorizes the president to declare federal lands as monuments and restrict how the lands can be used.
The presidential election in 2016 which includes overwhelming evidence of treason by the Trump campaign’s collaboration with Vladimir Putin, and the unprecedented role of James Comey interjecting himself into the presidential campaign days before the election, allowed an incompetent and illegitimate President to gain control of the United States government. Within 100 days after the popular vote loser was inaugurated amidst worldwide protests, it immediately began to reverse President Obama’s achievements with a ruthless, petty, and vindictive determination.
During a signing ceremony (along with the corrupt Ryan Zinke) at the Department of the interior in April of 2017, Trump said his executive order overturning the National Monument protections would end "another egregious abuse of federal power" and "give that power back to the states and to the people where it belongs."
Trump accused the previous administration of using the act to "unilaterally put millions of acres of land and water under strict federal control" — a practice he derailed as "a massive federal land grab."
Trump, a serial liar on every single issue imaginable, never intended to give the land back to the American people. He instead has handed over the sacred land of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to a Vancouver-based mining company — Glacier Lake Resources Inc. — after the site “recently became open for staking and exploration after a 21-year period moratorium,” the firm said in a June 13 press release.
Ariel Scotti of the Daily News writes:
“It’s an illegal action by the Trump administration to try and allow claims on a national monument,” Chapter Director for the Utah Sierra Club Ashley Soltysia told the Daily News.
“There’s no electricity or running water in the area. The closest town, Boulder, is 35 miles away and there’s no rail transport. All of these things are concerning that there would need to be significant infrastructure buildup in the area,” Soltysia said.
“The Antiquities Act gives Presidents authority to designate and protect monuments,” Culver told the Daily News. “It does not give them the authority to revoke what other Presidents have nominated. (Trump’s) attempts are illegal and invalid.
“The administration has prioritized turning this land over to companies to drill and mine and make a buck off of,” she said. “What makes it even more upsetting is the 1872 mining law. The government gets almost no return on the profits of the mine, allowing private companies to make a profit from this — not the people.”
The Huffington Post reports that our marine monuments are next in line to be destroyed by the Trump regime, this time by commercial fishing interests.
Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet, acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, detailed the proposed change in a presentation at the Department of Commerce’s “Vision Setting Summit” last month. The move, which is tied to the Trump administration’s monthslong review of national monuments, seeks to boost domestic seafood production.
But critics argue that opening these protected waters to fishing would do nothing to meet that goal. And they say it would be at odds with the primary purpose of designating a marine protected area: providing refuge for marine life.
The Washington Post reported last week that Gallaudet had called for stripping language about studying climate from NOAA’s mission statement. Not mentioned in the Post’s report, however, is that his presentation, reviewed by HuffPost on Thursday, also outlines the Commerce Department agency’s “Strategic Priorities for 2018,” including advancing maritime commerce and reducing America’s seafood trade deficit.
One of the ways NOAA intends to accomplish the latter is by approving “permit fishing in marine monuments” within 90 days, according to the document.
Oil and gas industry is coming for Colorado's sand dunes
The Trump administration has proposed selling mineral rights on properties adjacent to this magnificent place, opening up the area for oil and gas drilling. According to the Denver Post, drilling could be done on land that touches the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness area and within one mile of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
The attack on public lands isn't limited to Colorado. Uranium mining once again threatens the Grand Canyon, the Bureau of Land Management is considering leasing pieces of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and drilling and the Trump administration has also released a plan to allow offshore oil drilling in billions of acres of protected Atlantic waters -- to name just a few of the current proposals.
The mid-terms are coming.