No more.

Grant Information
2016-12-21 17:23:44
Friends,  On Monday I had the opportunity to join many of Utah’s top leaders to speak out again President Obama’s plans to designate a national monument in the Bears Ears Area in Southeastern Utah.   I had the opportunity to tour Bears Ears earlier this year and meet with local Navajo to speak out against this terrible land grab. As many of you know, President Obama plans to use the Antiquities Act to declare another national monument in southeast Utah. Without so much as a “by your leave” from Utahns, this unilateral action will cut off access, suffocate economic activity, and uproot the lives of thousands. Worst of all, this decision has come with no private or public consultation from Utahns—no hearings, no town meetings, no input from local land managers, no maps, no boundaries—nothing whatsoever. This decision may be one of the most egregious abuses of executive power I’ve seen in my lifetime. Time and time again, Utahns and Westerners have been the victims of unjustified federal land grabs. That’s why I joined with Senator Lee in introducing legislation that would exempt Utah from Antiquities Act designations. And that’s why, in the next Congress under President Trump, I will do everything in my power to repeal this national monument and send a strong message to future presidents that decisions made without local support will not be tolerated. The President’s proposal, like so many others, goes well beyond the original intent of the Antiquities Act, which was intended to give presidents only limited authority to designate special landmarks, such as a unique natural arch, or the site of old cliff dwellings. The President was never meant to set aside millions of acres through the Antiquities Act. In fact, to give you an idea of how extensively the Antiquities Act has been abused, the President’s newest proposal includes more land than the total acreage of the first 25 presidentially-proclaimed national monuments combined—and that includes the Grand Canyon. In my view, land-use decisions should be made only through a collaborative process—a process like the Public Lands Initiative—that involves those who actually live on the land and know how to manage it. There are real benefits to a well-managed legislative approach. For example, there are more than 100,000 acres of Utah’s school trust land that lie within the proposed 1.9 million-acre Bears Ears monument. In the event of a monument designation, this land will effectively be rendered useless, eroding the ability of the state land trust to earn revenue for Utah’s schoolchildren. However, if a more responsible legislative approach were taken to protect the Bears Ears, we could preserve our school trust lands and protect the much-needed revenue they generate to benefit public education in our state.

Friends, 

On Monday I joined many of Utah’s top leaders to speak out again President Obama’s plans to designate a national monument in the Bears Ears Area in Southeastern Utah.

 

I had the opportunity to tour Bears Ears earlier this year and meet with local Navajo to speak out against this terrible land grab.

As many of you know, President Obama plans to use the Antiquities Act to declare another national monument in southeast Utah. Without so much as a “by your leave” from Utahns, this unilateral action will cut off access, suffocate economic activity, and uproot the lives of thousands. Worst of all, this decision has come with no private or public consultation from Utahns—no hearings, no town meetings, no input from local land managers, no maps, no boundaries—nothing whatsoever.

This decision may be one of the most egregious abuses of executive power I’ve seen in my lifetime. Time and time again, Utahns and Westerners have been the victims of unjustified federal land grabs. That’s why I joined with Senator Lee in introducing legislation that would exempt Utah from Antiquities Act designations. And that’s why, in the next Congress under President Trump, I will do everything in my power to repeal this national monument and send a strong message to future presidents that decisions made without local support will not be tolerated.

The President’s proposal, like so many others, goes well beyond the original intent of the Antiquities Act, which was intended to give presidents only limited authority to designate special landmarks, such as a unique natural arch, or the site of old cliff dwellings. The President was never meant to set aside millions of acres through the Antiquities Act. In fact, to give you an idea of how extensively the Antiquities Act has been abused, the President’s newest proposal includes more land than the total acreage of the first 25 presidentially-proclaimed national monuments combined— and that includes the Grand Canyon.

In my view, land-use decisions should be made only through a collaborative process—a process like the Public Lands Initiative—that involves those who actually live on the land and know how to manage it. There are real benefits to a well-managed legislative approach. For example, there are more than 100,000 acres of Utah’s school trust land that lie within the proposed 1.9 million-acre Bears Ears monument. In the event of a monument designation, this land will effectively be rendered useless, eroding the ability of the state land trust to earn revenue for Utah’s schoolchildren. However, if a more responsible legislative approach were taken to protect the Bears Ears, we could preserve our school trust lands and protect the much-needed revenue they generate to benefit public education in our state.

San Juan County Commissioner Rebecca Benally spoke about why she and other local Navajo oppose a national monument in their land.

As Utahns, we cannot support an administration that wants to lock away a huge swath of our state without Congressional input and without considering the views of the locals most impacted by this designation. Preserving the Western way of life and preserving the treasures in the Bears Ears are not mutually exclusive. I believe we can strike a balance—by legislative means—that allows us to maintain our rural towns and communities and also protect the cultural integrity of the Bears Ears.

If the President decides to declare a midnight monument in Utah, know that I am committed to working with each of you to repeal it. 

Sincerely,

Orrin Hatch

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Senator Orrin Hatch
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