Author Topic: Utah isn't federal  (Read 105 times)

TheDrake

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Utah isn't federal
« on: December 04, 2017, 09:49:17 AM »
I'm with Trump on the rollback of Bears Ears. These are over a million acres of rocks and scrub. They didn't need protecting. Remember that this was only done by Obama 2-3 years ago. Proponents talk about "looting" of archaeological sites. We already have mechanisms other than national monuments to deal with protection of true archaeological sites.

Not every piece of graffiti needs to be preserved in perpetuity.

Naturists decry the destruction of the "wilderness" by mining. And yet, as of three years prior, nobody was mining in the area and it is pretty unlikely. If there had been viable mineral rights, I'd expect they'd have been exploited long ago. Oil and gas leases have been sought, but I tend to think those are long term especially with the price of petroleum depressed.

I just don't see this as an appropriate federal oversight. If Utah wants to restrict it, Utah can do that. I think it inappropriately disadvantages western states - nobody is trying to take a million acres out of New York or Michigan to preserve anything.

velcro

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Re: Utah isn't federal
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 09:17:20 PM »
I'm neutral, but your post raises some questions and observations.

If mining is unlikely, what loss is there to make it a monument?

You say it doesn't need protecting, because oil and gas leases are long term.  But isn't the point long term protection?

Obama made it a monument under the Antiquities Act.  That law is specifically to protect archaeological sites.

It is not "graffiti", it is petrographs from centuries ago.

There are buttes and canyons, and sites that are important to Native Americans, not just rocks and scrub.

Two congressmen from Utah tried to protect it by passing a law in Congress, but other Republicans were not interested, and nothing happened.  Tribal leaders have been trying for years to get the area protected, but nothing happened.  Obama made something happen to protect it.

Crunch

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Re: Utah isn't federal
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 09:15:22 AM »
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I think it inappropriately disadvantages western states - nobody is trying to take a million acres out of New York or Michigan to preserve anything.

Roughly 28% of all land in the USA is under federal government control. Mostly in 11 western states where the federal government collectively owns 47% of all land.  East of the Mississippi River, the feds only own 4% of all land. Here’s a interesting breakdown of some of the most nationalized states:
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Washington: 28.5 percent
Montana: 29.0 percent
New Mexico: 34.7 percent
Colorado: 35.9 percent
Arizona: 38.6 percent
California: 45.8 percent
Wyoming: 48.1 percent
Oregon: 52.9 percent
Alaska: 61.2 percent
Idaho: 61.6 percent
Utah: 64.9 percent
Nevada: 84.9 percent

I find it incredible that the federal government has taken over all but 15% of Nevada and nearly half of the western states. Las Vegas is nearly reduced to the status of “city state”. Taking that much cannot be simply about protecting archaeologically important sites, there just ain’t that many.

Seriati

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Re: Utah isn't federal
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2017, 09:32:54 AM »
Seriously take a look at a federal lands map.  There is a massive and disproportionate burden placed on the western states.  Having federal control (which practically, means east coast politicians in DC) making very low level decisions over the majority or a significant part of a state is already an issue, but when you couple that we cause of the day legislation (like revoking cattle rights that have been in place for a hundred years) it's a real example of the famous leftist idea of punching down.

TheDrake

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Re: Utah isn't federal
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 11:02:38 AM »
If mining is unlikely, what loss is there to make it a monument?

Recreational, for one. Motorized, that is. Protecting the barren desert floor from tire treads. Grazing rights being another. Building being another. Hunting in many cases. Even collecting cool looking rocks (even the ones that haven't been drawn upon).

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It is not "graffiti", it is petrographs from centuries ago.

They are both art made by common people to express themselves. One is just older and uses different tools. Pictograph, petroglyph, what have you. It is good and right to identify significant sites for study and secure them. It is not necessary to secure every single drawing in a 2000 sq mi area.

Roosevelt designated 1200 acres in Wyoming in the first use of the Act. Grand Canyon was relatively large at 808k. 640k for Mount Olympus. Joshua Tree, 800k. All of these large designations were by Teddy. Wilson designated 1M acres of alaska. Coolidge gobbled up another 1.4 M. Hoover snatched a million in Death Valley. That was largely it until Carter went for a whopping 104 million largely in Alaska, enough to prompt Congressional action to set oversight in place for any more Alaska grabs. Then Obama blew them all away with 265 million acres. Acres that can't be developed in any way shape or form. Acres that can't contribute to the local and national economy. It is simply out of control, in my opinion, due to the scale not the concept.

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There are buttes and canyons, and sites that are important to Native Americans, not just rocks and scrub.

One million acres of sites? By all means, if there are important places, protect them and restrict access. But claiming a spiritual connection to every single acre is just out of control.

There is an odd disconnect, where people in favor of the designation talk about the limited impact to local economies, and yet if there were limited chance of development and use, why would it all need protection?

I think the scaling back (not elimination) of Bears Ears is an appropriate reversal of unprecedented executive action.