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News Biden* Restores Bears Ears in Push to Conserve One-Third of the Country
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CrimsonPhantom Offline
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Biden* Restores Bears Ears in Push to Conserve One-Third of the Country
Quote:President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday to restore the full extent of three national monuments that former President Donald Trump had greatly reduced in size: Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and the marine monument Northeast Canyons and Seamounts.

Bears Ears National Monument, the smaller of the two land monuments and located in southeastern Utah, is now 2,112 square miles, which is larger than the state of Delaware. Miners and energy companies had lobbied against the monument, arguing that President Barack Obama’s creation of it in December 2016 was an overreach of power. Obama created the monument under the Antiquities Act, which gives a president the authority to create national monuments by proclamation. When signing the order, Biden said that Bears Ears is “sacred to tribal nations.”

Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, which is 2,938 square miles and has always been controversial because of its size, had been reduced in half by the Trump administration in order to open up land for mining and cattle grazing. It is also located in Utah.

The restoration of the monuments is part of the Biden administration’s plan to conserve 30 percent of land and 30 percent of water in the United States by 2030. During his campaign, Biden included the objective in his climate plan titled “The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice.” The Department of the Interior, which is headed by former New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland, is now formally working towards that goal with an initiative called “America the Beautiful.” The department says that it is a “whole-of-government effort” that is “locally led.”

The Department of Interior said that conserving 30 percent of U.S. lands within the decade “can help combat the climate and nature crises and advance environmental justice.”

It added that the purpose of the initiative is to “stem the extinction crisis, safeguard water and food supplies, absorb carbon pollution, and reduce the risks of future pandemics and other global health emergencies.”

The plan is ambitious, as only 12 percent of U.S. land is conserved as national parks, wilderness areas, and other protected areas. In order to reach the goal of conserving 30 percent of U.S. lands, the Biden administration would need to conserve lands greater than the size of Alaska. The restoration of Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts are the first major steps towards that goal.

The Biden administration insists that the federal government will not be the only entity to designate land as a conserved area in the race to set aside 30 percent of U.S. lands. It is calling on states, tribes, fishers, farmers, ranchers, forest owners, and other private landowners to contribute to the effort.

In a “Letter to America,” Haaland, joined by the secretaries of agriculture and commerce, said: “President Biden has challenged all of us as Americans to join together in pursuit of a goal of conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.”

10-12-2021 11:08 AM
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Eldonabe Offline

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RE: Biden* Restores Bears Ears in Push to Conserve One-Third of the Country
Trump did…. Therefore I must undo……
10-12-2021 04:47 PM
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MileHighBronco Offline

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RE: Biden* Restores Bears Ears in Push to Conserve One-Third of the Country
The majority of federally protected land is in the western U.S.

President dementia's further efforts at protection will also occur there. Yes, there are vast tracts of land that is very sparsely populated. But when citizens try to access those lands, they often find restrictions from the feds.
10-12-2021 06:25 PM
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gdunn Offline
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RE: Biden* Restores Bears Ears in Push to Conserve One-Third of the Country
When the government shuts down, these will be the first areas that we cannot access because the workers at these national parks are furloughed, not the knuckle heads in DC. Keep that in mind.
10-13-2021 08:49 AM
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CrimsonPhantom Offline
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RE: Biden* Restores Bears Ears in Push to Conserve One-Third of the Country
Why Joe Biden’s Expansion Of Bears Ears National Monument Is An Aggressive Land Grab

Quote:President Joe Biden reinstated Obama-era boundaries for a trio of national monuments Friday, expanding the monuments by millions of acres under rigid federal restrictions.

The new boundaries include more than 1.3 million acres at Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and more than 1.8 million acres at the state’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Biden also reintroduced commercial fishing limits on the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument 130 off the New England coast.

“I am proud to stand with President Biden in restoring these monuments and fulfilling his commitment to the American people,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who, at the helm of the administration’s aggressive land agenda urged the president to reinstate the federal land grab in June.

The move reverses cuts made by former President Donald Trump on his first year in office, who in turn was peeling back boundaries established by President Barack Obama on the way out. On the recommendation of former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a review of monuments erected by the Antiquities Act since 1996, Trump reduced Bears Ears’ borders by 85 percent, and shrunk the boundary of Grand Staircase by about half. Separately in 2020, Trump removed environmental regulations on Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine.

A Federal Land Grab Beyond Legal Limits
Biden’s decision marks the greatest presidential land takeover since Barack Obama, who created or expanded 29 national monuments encompassing 553 million acres using the Antiquities Act, a 1906 law signed by President Theodore Roosevelt to protect cultural or natural resources from looting or destruction.

While the law grants presidential authority to establish protected areas, it was never intended to be used for the sweeping creation of quasi-national parks in the absence of congressional approval. For the executive to invoke the century-old legislation introducing new protections, important limitations exist: One, there must be an object to be protected, whether it’s geologic, historic, or prehistoric. Two, the monument itself must be on federal land. Three, the land to go under protection must be “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.” President Obama routinely violated all three.

The first monument preserved under the Antiquities Act by President Roosevelt was Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, which encompasses less than 1,200 acres. That’s far lower than the more than 3 million acres locked under federal protection in Utah by Presidents Biden and Obama, and far less than the 553 million acres shielded under Obama’s entire tenure.

“That goes to show you how radical the environmental movement has become,” Zinke said of the Democrats’ land grab, explaining in an interview with The Federalist his recommendations to shrink monumental boundaries four years ago were driven by desire to follow the spirit of the Antiquities Act as intended. The leftist movement to lock up millions of acres from public use and state management has become more about “control” instead of “stewardship and management.”

While typically touted as triumphant feats in the preservation of sacred public land for generations, national monuments lock off public access and opportunities for ranching, fishing, and recreation. Those restrictions then present ripple effects on the economies of surrounding rural communities with limited options to develop.

Indian Relics Maintained Protection Under Trump
On Thursday, Haaland celebrated Biden’s reinstated protections as a major victory for American Indians.

“The historical connection between Indigenous peoples and Bears Ears is undeniable,” Haaland said. “This living landscape must be protected so that all Americans have the profound opportunity to learn and cherish our history.”

Out of the five monuments Zinke ultimately made recommendations about in 2017, none suggested eliminating them. Instead, their size was to be reduced to protect property worthy of preservation under the Antiquities Act with minimal infringement on surrounding areas. The 800,000 acres stripped from Grand Staircase still maintained federal protection as wilderness, allowing the land to be used for hunting and grazing.

At Bears Ears, the area under reinstated monumental protections is larger than neighboring Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks combined, surpassing the Antiquities Act’s mandate that “the smallest area compatible” with care of the object in question, the towering buttes, be properly preserved.

“There were no antiquities,” Zinke said of a majority of the expanded Bears Ears’ territory, beyond Indian artifacts, which are still prohibited from removal without permit on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. The acreage stripped of monument status kept protections while enhancing opportunities for public use. Objects that remained within the Trump-era boundaries include the “Bears Ears” buttes, Lime Ridge Clovis Site, Moon House Ruin, Doll House Ruin, Indian Creek Rock Art, and Newspaper Rock.

“If you’re going to take arrowheads as an object to protect, then you’re going to have to protect the entire state of Montana,” added Zinke, a Montana native now running for a seat in the House of Representatives in the state’s newly created second district.

Despite lucrative coal reserves found at the Kaiparowits Plateau located within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Casey Hammond, a former Interior official in the Trump administration who coordinated management following boundary reduction, told The Federalist neither area attracted much interest.

“It’s not like you had oil and gas pouring in, or mining development pouring in,” Hammond said, noting the administration’s efforts were primarily to build infrastructure for tourist’s as Utah’s industry explodes. “I had zero oil and gas companies who said, ‘We really want to go up to Bears Ears or Grand Staircase.’ The number is exactly zero.” The Republican-led state also blocked permitting for mines in the 1990s, and representatives from the state’s congressional delegation have sought to permanently ban mineral extraction.

Meanwhile, Hammond said, the area saw increased destruction from the monuments’ designation. That drew more looting and resource effects without the infrastructure needed for adequate preservation.

“In one year it experienced more damage and degradation than in the prior 50,” Hammond said. “That place has been there for thousands of years and the idea that Obama somehow saved it a month before he left office is a total lie.”
10-13-2021 05:35 PM
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