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Bears Ears to be Downsized to 160,000 Acres


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BrokenChairs BrettC · · Sultan, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 245

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/24/us/bears-ears-utah-monument.html?mcubz=0

"BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT, Utah — Parts of this sprawling region of red-rock canyons and at least three other national monuments would lose their strict protection and could be reopened for new mining or drilling under proposals submitted to President Trump by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday, according to congressional aides and others who have been briefed on the report."

This is troublesome to say the least.  

Chris Fedorczak · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

UGH

sherb · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 60

Title makes it sound like a done deal. Says it's a proposal.

BrokenChairs BrettC · · Sultan, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 245

I'll add proposal to the title if some one can explain how. Either way the news is not good. There is also proposals to reduce Grand Staircase.  

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 938

That's about a 90% slash, right?

Nick Votto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 320

They're gonna see a ton of pushback on this, first of all the precedent has been set that it will take an act of congress to do anything to a National Monument, secondly, they're gonna get the crap sued out of them 

Carlos S · · Corona · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 15

Goddamn, that would be quite the downsize. 

I'm guessing there would be a significant push back if this comes to fruition. 

I hope there will be a significant push back.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135
Nick Votto wrote:

They're gonna see a ton of pushback on this, first of all the precedent has been set that it will take an act of congress to do anything to a National Monument, secondly, they're gonna get the crap sued out of them 

There is no precedent in it taking an act of Congress to make changes to a National Monument. Congress has always had that ability as defined by the Constitution.

As outlined in here: https://www.nps.gov/archeology/sites/antiquities/monumentslist.htm 17 distinct times the POTUS has diminished the size of a NM. The current administration will say those examples set a precedent. However, the real question is whether the Antiquities Act allows the POTUS to reduce the size of NM. That will be mostly likely answered by the courts.

builttospill · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 0

As Allen notes, POTUS has reduced the sizes of monuments in the past.  But those past reductions have never been this large, nor have they ever been challenged in court.  This one surely will be.

I am baffled by the idea that they will revisit Grand Staircase-Escalante.  Unraveling the deals that were made to support that monument will be very difficult.  Utah's school trust fund (SITLA) was given land offsets outside the monument to help fund public schools.  If the monument is downsized, are they going to return those lands?  Presumably some have already been disposed, making it impossible.  My understanding was that SITLA members had said, publicly, that they were pleased with the deal they ultimately got from the Clinton administration.  Will they really want to revisit that?  

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 938

The thing about "precedent" is it's only legally binding if it comes from an appellate court, and even then it can be challenged. The court views its job interpreting the statute as effectuating congressional intent. It will start with the text of the statute, and if that's not clear, the historical practice will be one of the sources it references. What past presidents have done will weigh into the court's calculus of what congress intended when it passed the law, but it will not be the only factor.

City Dweller · · New York, NY · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 10

Thanks, Obama

builttospill · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 0

Any constitutional lawyers want to weigh in on the likelihood that the SC, as currently composed, would uphold this action?  On one hand, this issue could be framed as a check on executive power, i.e. limiting the ability of presidents to declare large swathes of land as federally-controlled.  On the other hand, giving the executive branch the ability to undo monuments is, itself, an obvious increase in executive power, just of a slightly different kind.  

Of course, by the time this gets to the SC, it's very possible the court's composition will have changed somewhat.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135
builttospill wrote:

As Allen notes, POTUS has reduced the sizes of monuments in the past.  But those past reductions have never been this large, nor have they ever been challenged in court.  This one surely will be.

I am baffled by the idea that they will revisit Grand Staircase-Escalante.  Unraveling the deals that were made to support that monument will be very difficult.  Utah's school trust fund (SITLA) was given land offsets outside the monument to help fund public schools.  If the monument is downsized, are they going to return those lands?  Presumably some have already been disposed, making it impossible.  My understanding was that SITLA members had said, publicly, that they were pleased with the deal they ultimately got from the Clinton administration.  Will they really want to revisit that?  

Correct that was my point as well as the fact that it has not been challenged in the courts.

The largest previously diminished acreage was Olympic NM back in 1915. That was for just over 300k acres. It was controversial but never challenged.

Regarding GSENM, I think the trade issue is moot because that was via an act of Congress. Further, if boundaries are successfully redrawn the SITLA land traded remains federally managed land which is a benefit for all. 

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 938
builttospill wrote:

Any constitutional lawyers want to weigh in on the likelihood that the SC, as currently composed, would uphold this action?  On one hand, this issue could be framed as a check on executive power, i.e. limiting the ability of presidents to declare large swathes of land as federally-controlled.  On the other hand, giving the executive branch the ability to undo monuments is, itself, an obvious increase in executive power, just of a slightly different kind.  

Of course, by the time this gets to the SC, it's very possible the court's composition will have changed somewhat.

I don't think this will go up to SCOTUS as a constitutional question. It's purely a question of statutory interpretation. When congress gave the president power to designate national monuments in the antiquities act, did they also intend the inverse power to reduce, modify or eliminate monuments? The text of the statute is silent, which is a strong implication that it was not intended; but historical practice has been for congress to acquiesce to reductions and modifications, so there's certainly something for the president's lawyers to latch on to. 

I wouldn't venture a guess as to the split on the bench. Deference to the executive is a tendency on the right, but so is strict textual reading of statutes. Someone with a closer eye on individual justices would have a better guess. Try SCOTUS blog. They might have a speculative piece on the issue.

greg t · · Chevy, Silverado · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 900

“When you turn the management over to the tree-huggers, the bird and bunny lovers and the rock lickers, you turn your heritage over.” -Mike Noel Utah State Representative 

If you want to let him know how important rock licking is to you, here's his contacts
Email: mnoel@kanab.net
Cell Phone: 435-616-5603
Work Phone: 435-644-3996

BrokenChairs BrettC · · Sultan, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 245
greg t wrote:

“When you turn the management over to the tree-huggers, the bird and bunny lovers and the rock lickers, you turn your heritage over.” -Mike Noel Utah State Representative 

If you want to let him know how important rock licking is to you, here's his contacts
Email: mnoel@kanab.net
Cell Phone: 435-616-5603
Work Phone: 435-644-3996

I tried to write this earlier but I hit my limit apparently.

greg t · · Chevy, Silverado · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 900

Perhaps Mike Noel could get some sympathy from the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Indian Tribes, I’m sure they could relate to his heritage being turned over.

BrokenChairs BrettC · · Sultan, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 245

possibly happening sooner than we all thought: https://www.ksl.com/?sid=46187932&nid=757

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

It was designated a monument only a couple of years ago. Just pretend that never happened and you'll feel better about it.

BrokenChairs BrettC · · Sultan, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 245

Actually it was last December and according to the access fund IC could be in jeopardy so no pretending wont make me feel better about it. https://www.accessfund.org/news-and-events/news/breaking-new-information-increases-threat-to-bears-ears 

Steve Skarvinko · · SLC, UT · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 5
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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