In Midnight Executive Order, Obama Administration Seizes 1.5 Million AcresPosted: December 29, 2016
Obama Subverts Antiquities Act to Unilaterally Seize Land
Dan Calabrese writes: When you think of a national monument, you probably think of a beautiful statue or some stately structure that honors a former president. They’re nice to have, nice to go look at. You probably don’t think of a “national monument” as 1.5 million acres of land that contains crucial natural resources the nation needs, but thanks to the national monument designation, can’t touch.
“It is extremely disappointing that President Obama has declared another national monument here in Utah, ignoring the voices of so many in our state, particularly those closest to the designated space. By significantly restricting access to a large portion of public lands in Utah, the President weakens land management capabilities and fails to protect those the Antiquities Act intended to benefit.”
— Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes
Welcome once again to the final days of the Obama presidency, in which the whole point is to take abuse of executive power to new and, Obama homes, irreversible new heights. Screw your neighbors. Screw your own country. You’ve got nothing to lose at this point, and you think you’ve come up with a way to do it that leaves your successor helpless to reverse your abuses once you’re gone. One day it’s drilling in the Atlantic and the Arctic. The next it’s the de facto declaration of war against one of your best allies.
“Now you’ve decided to make official what you’ve long believed – that all property ultimately belongs to the state, whose primary interest in said property is to prevent said land from ever benefiting the people in any way.”
Now you’ve decided to make official what you’ve long believed – that all property ultimately belongs to the state, whose primary interest in said property is to prevent said land from ever benefiting the people in any way.
“Obama sees governing as a form of ideological combat. However much he may pretend he wants to help Trump get off to a good start, his actions say exactly the opposite. This gigantic federal land grab is only the latest example of Obama cleverly abusing executive powers in his waning days to hamstring the incoming administration, while structuring his actions in such a way that Trump can’t simply revoke what Obama has done.”
And if that means you’re seizing 1.5 million acres on the thinnest of premises, hey, you’re Barack Obama. At this point, it’s what you do:
The White House announced that The Bears Ears National Monument in Utah will cover 1.35 million acres in the Four Corners region. The move is a victory for Native American tribes and conservationists for whom the land is considered sacred, but sparked intense opposition from Republicans.
The president also announced a 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument outside Las Vegas that will protect an ecologically fragile area that includes rock art, artifacts and fossils…(read more)