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In our opinion: Fix Antiquities Act

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  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    Bill Clinton was the greatest President of our generation. Creating the Grand Staircase was just one of his incredible acts that this generations and many other will benefit from.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 22, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    Re: "Today, however, competing political philosophies . . . make the definition of danger a moving target."

    Yeah -- moving with the whim of the President. No one could honestly argue that Utah public lands were in danger when Clinton gifted them to tree huggers. The danger was to Democrat power and solidarity, not the lands.

    This evil act unconstitutionally empowers venal, corrupt politicians to use public lands as political capital to reward support or punish opposition [both of which occurred in Clinton's gift of Utah lands to tree huggers].

    It should certainly be brought to heel, immediately, as Mr. Bishop's bill would do. Particularly since the Obama regime has promised other Western lands to its tree hugger operatives.

    Over time, however, the Antiquities Act must be repealed or declared unconstitutional.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 22, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    One more anti-conservation editorial from the Deseret News. Rob Bishop must be very happy with you guys.

    And as for the false argument: "No one could honestly argue that Utah public lands were in danger when Clinton gifted them to tree huggers." What about rampaging ORVs, threats of strip mining, threats of turning pristine land over to developers (and then having to find water to supply the people who move into the resulting gated communities), overgrazing, and any of a thousand other destructive practices?

    Hopefully, there will be enough sensible Congresscritters to put this idea where it belongs -- in the trash.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    These federal lands to not belong to the local inhabitants and policy should not be determined by their preferences alone. Utah's wild lands are a public treasure to be preserved for future generations. Looking at Yellowstone's past history of commercial exploitation gives some idea of what will happen to Utah's natural beauty if it is not protected. "Fixing" the law should not mean bowing to those, for example, who want to drive 4-wheelers over every square inch of Utah.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 22, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    It's too bad that Bush didn't scale the monument back or repeal it al together with an executive order of his own. He could have done that you know. I propose to let the Congress create such national monuments after much deliberation and input from those most affected.

    By the way HS Fan, if you count Clinton as the best president of your generation, you were not paying attention. Either that or you are about 15 years old and aren't qualified to make that kind of judgement.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 22, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Re: " What about rampaging ORVs, threats of strip mining, threats of . . . [blah, blah, blah] . . . and any of a thousand other destructive practices?

    None of which were occurring anywhere near the Escalante/Grand Staircase during Clinton's regime.

    His venal, corrupt action -- taken in the heat of a campaign, mere weeks before his second election day -- was, pure and simple, to warn/punish Utah voters and buy off disgruntled, radical tree huggers.

    The Act, itself, was originally passed to permit emergency protection of Native American archaeological sites. Its misuse to declare Jackson Hole a monument led to near-revolt in Congress, resolved only by the 1992 passage of a law similar to Mr. Bishop's bill, protecting politically-weak Wyoming [but, unfortunately, only Wyoming] from assault by rapacious White House regimes.

    The protections afforded Western public lands by this bill are long, LONG overdue. But the Inter-mountain West won't be entirely safe from back-East and left-coast "green" predation until the Antiquities Act is repealed or judicially declared to the dangerous, unconstitutional power-grab it is.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    I'm not tree hugger but I love the outdoors and have biked more than most people ever will in Southern Utah. I love it.

    BUT, to allow Bill Clinton or any President to come into our State and Hijack our resources without our consent or advise is insane.

    States should be able to be part of the process.

    Anything less is bullying and you know how we all feel about Bully's.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    April 22, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    Of course the state and locals should be part of the process, but the process had been going nowhere for years when Clinton finally did the brave thing. Those lands would have been destroyed by now. The massive Dutch coal mine proposed for Kaiparowits would have stripped mountains down and hazed the entire region for decades to come. Do we really want the last beautiful open land in America to be pillaged like that? Why don't conservatives want to conserve anything?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 22, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    To "Hemlock" go back and read the article. The lands belonged to the Utah School Trust. They did not belong to the federal government, nor did they "belong to the people."

    Would you accept it if the government declared that your house had historic value, and that you were to leave it without compensation? How would you evaluate proper compensation.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 22, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    Re: "The massive Dutch coal mine proposed for Kaiparowits would have stripped mountains down and hazed the entire region for decades to come."

    Not.

    That proposal was killed two decades before Clinton's land grab [1976]. The only proposal on the table at the time of his misuse of the Antiquities Act was for a much smaller, completely underground mine on an existing lease of only about 10,000 acres.

    Why do liberals have so much trouble telling the truth?

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    @HS Fan
    Actually Bill Clinton was the 6th best President of our generation (out of 9).

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 22, 2013 1:05 p.m.

    It's instructive to remember that the Grand Canyon was vehemently opposed by the locals when it was designated under the Antiquities Act, under Teddy Roosevelt. It was seen as a federal takeover that was going to ruin the livelihood of ranchers who had been using those lands for generations. (Sound familiar?) Who today thinks the Grand Canyon should be dissolved as a National Park?

    A great percentage of the time, the locals will not see the value in the resource being protected, in the same way everyone else in the nation does. They're used to seeing the red rocks, the vistas, and they naturally "discount" them as they assess their own opportunities to exploit resources in the land. This is human nature, it's understandable. How many of us visit some other state and then come back and realize just how beautiful Utah is?

    How many times have National Monuments later been turned into National Parks by Congress? A very large percentage of the time. Arches was originally designated a National Monument by a tyrannical action of a tyrant President, same with many other parks. Now it's on our license plates.

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    Clinton Critics:
    Approval ratings upon leaving office of the last 9 Presidents;
    Clinton #`1 at 66%
    Raygun #2 at 63%
    W. Bush #8 at 34%
    Nixon #9 at 24%
    Argument over, Clinton recognized as the greatest upon leaving office. Grand Staircase played a role as majority of Americans know Utah political leaders are tied to corporate, extraction industries that care more about a few fast bucks than protecting a beutiful, finite landscape for future generations. Bishop's and DN view is solely to appeal to the right wing fringe people that make up the majority of Utah voters but represent a small minority of Americans.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 22, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    procuradorfiscal:

    I'm not finding any references about the Dutch coal mine and the Kaiparowits plateau except from 1995, an AP article that shows legislation proposed by Utah lawmakers supporting Dutch coal which sought 650,000 acres in Kaiparowits.

    Please cite your information saying this idea was killed in the 1950s.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 22, 2013 2:23 p.m.

    Historically there has been a lot of opposition to the use of the Antiquities Act, like the Grand Canyon example above.

    Let's see how this alleged "abuse of power" was employed in Utah:

    Natural Bridges, 1908, Teddy Roosevelt
    Rainbow Bridge, 1910, Taft
    Dinosaur, 1915, Wilson
    Timpanogos Cave, 1922, Harding
    Bryce Canyon, 1923, Harding
    Arches, 1929, Hoover
    Zion, 1937, FDR
    Escalante / Grand Staircase, 1996, Clinton

    I'm having a hard time seeing the list of these "federal takeovers" being unreasonable. Actually, they appear to be quite sage moves within contexts of contention for those resources by parties who were interested in developing the lands.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 22, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    Re: "Please cite your information saying this idea was killed in the 1950s."

    I'm not aware of any information saying this idea was killed in the 1950s.

    As I said above, however, the large, strip-mining proposal died in 1976. The much smaller, underground, 10,000 acre proposal was the only one pending at the time of Clinton's political land grab. This is one of many issues covered in a nice, footnoted discussion of politics and land use history on NAU's CP-LUHNA website.

    You can find Wyoming's protective statute at 16 USC 431a.

    BTW, nice tactic -- luring someone with a cogent, opposing argument into using his last post [particularly one without half-a-dozen aliases, like others here] to do your research for you.

    But that's OK. I'll take my last post to reiterate -- giving unfettered discretion to a single political animal to lock away public lands gives him/her unfettered discretion to punish or reward political constituencies for purely political reasons.

    The Antiquities Act is a very BAD idea, and must be repealed.

  • Moabmom Moab, UT
    April 22, 2013 8:32 p.m.

    When Clinton locked up Kaiparowits, the reason was two fold: 1. To secure the "tree hugger" vote 2) as a political payoff to Lippo Group,an Indonesian conglomerate. Prior to the election revelations surfaced almost daily regarding donations from foreign sources (ie Lippo) to the Democratic Party and Clinton. A mega coal plant was built in Baja and ready to go online, but they needed coal, the kind found in Kaiparowits and only found two other places in the world. One being Colombia, but they were no where ready to mine. and, you guessed it, Indonesia. The logical source for the Baja plant would have been Kaiparowits, but Utah wasn't exactly a big doner to Clinton or the Democratic party. Escalante was locked up and Utah sold down the river so Clinton could get re-elected. Funny how those singing Clintons praises seem to forget the real details of what went on back then. Clinton didn't even have the guts to set foot in Utah and announce that monument.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 22, 2013 8:34 p.m.

    I have to agree with flashback. Clinton was not the greatest president. At least not as a person. But Obama is.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 22, 2013 8:36 p.m.

    procura, when you write: "Re: " What about rampaging ORVs, threats of strip mining, threats of . . . [blah, blah, blah] . . . and any of a thousand other destructive practices?

    None of which were occurring anywhere near the Escalante/Grand Staircase during Clinton's regime."

    I have to ask, were you ever there? I was. I witnessed a lot of that. Only one who is blind to the truth can deny that it did.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 22, 2013 8:38 p.m.

    Wrong, redshirt. School lands make up only a small percentage of the land.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    April 22, 2013 8:57 p.m.

    Republicans lack the vision and courage to change this.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    April 22, 2013 9:03 p.m.

    The monument has been nothing but a positive thing. The opponents can't name one thing wrong with it.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 23, 2013 7:57 a.m.

    To "one old man" how can I be wrong if you agree that the schools did own some of the land that Clinton locked up?

    You are saying that I am wrong, but am also correct at the same time.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    April 23, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    Half truth's are something 5 year old's do, and of course am radio guys, who routinely apply this tactic.

    The truth is this "land grab" applies more appropriately to the attempt of Utah politicians in 1995 and 1996 to force their anti-wilderness bills, H.R. 1745 and S. 884, upon the American public. Their intransigence only proved to the President that rational negotiation on land protection issues in southern Utah is not possible."

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    These lands don't just belong to the greedy people of Utah and it is great that Clinton set the land aside for everyone. It is ridiculous how people are in such a hurry to dig it all up. It is selfish. we don't have to use it all up as fast as we can! It might just be a good thing to leave it alone so future generations may enjoy also!

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701

    I think what "One Old Man" is saying is that your statement regarding the school trust lands that were within the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument (GSENM) boundaries was worded in such a way to lead people to conclude that either a.) the vast majority of GSENM was comprised of school trust lands, or b.) the vast majority of total school trust lands statewide were located within the boundaries of GSENM.

    Both of these implied assumptions are patently false. The 176,600 acres of school trust lands that were within the boundaries of GSENM amounted to about 9% of the 1.88 million acres comprising GSENM, and about 5% of the total school trust lands statewide. The kicker is that in 1998, the federal government exchanged other federal lands and mineral rights located in Utah, as well as $50 million, to the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration for the trust lands located in GSENM and other National Park System units.

    A little honesty and forthrightness regarding complex issues like this goes a long way . . .

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    @Red Shirt
    In short, the School Trust got a large infusion of funds from the monument that they would not have gotten otherwise. They had not collected any revenue from those parcels before the monument's creation because they were land locked by the surrounding federal lands and would never have been developed. By designating the monument Clinton solved an issue that had been ongoing for decades and would have never been resolved.
    Federal lands belong to the people and proximity does not heed the land to Utahns. Utahns argument because they fall within the State we should control their use is ridiculous. That would be as ludicrous as me taking over my neighbors property because he is an out of state landlord.