Trump is rolling back some of the land thieving the Obama administration did using the antiquities act, announcing that today in Utah he’s setting free millions of acres of public land from federal protection regulations:
NY TIMES – President Trump said he would dramatically reduce the size of a vast expanse of protected federal land in Utah on Monday, a rollback of some two million acres that is the largest in scale in the nation’s history.
The administration said it would shrink Bears Ears National Monument, a sprawling region of red rock canyons, by about 85 percent, and cut another area, Grand Staircase-Escalante to about half its current size. The move, a reversal of protections put in place by Democratic predecessors, comes as the administration pushes for fewer restrictions and more development on public lands.
The decision to reduce Bears Ears is expected to trigger a legal battle that could alter the course of American land conservation, possibly opening millions of protected public acres to oil and gas extraction, mining, logging and other commercial activities.
“Some people think that the natural resources should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington,” Mr. Trump said, speaking at Utah’s domed State Capitol. “And guess what, they’re wrong.”
“Together,” he continued, “we will usher in a bright new future of wonder and wealth.”
President Barack Obama designated Bears Ears in 2016, and President Bill Clinton set aside Grand Staircase-Escalante in 1996. In both cases, Utah politicians said the actions were illegal abuses of a century-old law called the Antiquities Act.
Here’s Trump making the announcement in Utah today if you want to listen:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 4, 2017
Mike Lee is very happy:
Sen. Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement Monday after President Trump announced significant reductions to both the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments.
“President Trump did the people of Utah a great favor today by rolling back harmful land use restrictions in southern Utah,” Sen. Lee said. “The president has done his part and now it is time for Congress to act to protect the people of Utah from federal overreach in the future. That is why I will be introducing legislation later this week that would give Utah similar protections from Antiquities Act abuse that the states of Wyoming and Alaska currently enjoy.”
Dana Loesch says this is a big deal:
Huge, considering how much land (in many western states, vastly over 50%) is owned and controlled by the feds. https://t.co/eXAPFagmLX— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) December 4, 2017
And apparently the crowd in Utah loves it:
It begins... a Utah (!) crowd just chanted "Four More Years!" as Trump signed two executive orders. (It's only day 318.)— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) December 4, 2017