Archive for category Bears Ears

Outdoor Retailers to Gov. Herbert: We’re Outta Here

Governor Gary Herbert’s hopes to negotiate with the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), sponsor of twice-yearly trade shows in Salt Lake City, were dashed today. It was clear that OIA considered it is time for action, not more talk.

OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts said “it is important to our membership, and to our bottom line, that we partner with states and elected officials who share our views on the truly unique American value of public lands for the people and conserving our outdoor heritage for the next generation.”

The OIA said it specifically asked Herbert for four measures that outdoor businesses consider important to their future in Utah:

• End legal efforts or support for congressional action that would facilitate the sale or transfer of federal lands to the states.

• End efforts to nullify the Antiquities Act.

• Stop seeking to reverse the designation of Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Herbert this month signed a resolution from the Utah Legislature asking President Donald Trump to rescind the monument designation.

• Support other public lands “that provide the backbone of the industries sales,” OIA wrote.

Herbert did not agree, Roberts said.

“For 20 years … we feel like we’ve been a good partner and very upfront about our [member concerns],” Roberts said, “and what we’ve seen is sort of a ratcheting up over time in actions either by the Utah Legislature or the congressional delegation that really start to threaten public lands and the public’s access to the lands.”

OIA has decided to pull out of Utah, effective in 2019. Most likely the retailers will move their events to Denver, Colorado.

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President Obama Proclaims Bears Ears National Monument

Arch Canyon
Arch Canyon, Bears Ears NM / Manti-La Sal NF

Today President Obama proclaimed a 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument, which is just two-thirds the area proposed by the Bears Ears Coalition. Instead of sticking the right-wing with what they deserve, Obama fell short, in his usual “well, it’s better than nothing” style. The smaller-than-expected boundary is close to what Rep. Rob Bishop proposed in his Public Lands Initiative bill.

Of course the Tea-GOP is exploding with rage anyway despite Obama’s futile attempt to make them feel listened to. Via the Salt Lake Tribune:

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch on Wednesday issued a scathing indictment calling Obama’s action an “attack on an entire way of life” and an “astonishing and egregious abuse of executive power” that far exceeds the intent of the Antiquities Act.

“In the next Congress under President [Donald] Trump, I will do everything in my power to reverse this travesty,” Hatch said.

…Gov. Gary Herbert said he was “deeply disturbed” by the designation, by which he said the president “misused his authority” and “violated assurances made by his Interior Secretary [Sally Jewell] to take into account local concerns.”

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said he is working with Herbert, the state’s congressional delegation and lawmakers on a lawsuit, “and we are confident in our chances of success.”

Comment in an e-mail from USA-ALL (right-wing anti-wilderness group):

We called this early in 2016. This is one we hate to be right about. There is much we could say about this…like how it will undermine the possibility of collaborative planning and compromises over disputed areas, like how shady and dishonest groups like SUWA are, or how naive and foolish native american tribes are for buying into the lies of enviros, and how the Obama administration cares little about REAL local input and doing the right thing for the land and the people…we could go on.

USA-ALL will make it our mission, in 2017, to convince the Trump administration to undo in entirety or part this latest assault.

UPDATE:
As much as I dislike SUWA, they have the right idea here:
TELL THE UTAH DELEGATION: HANDS OFF BEARS EARS!

More info:
Statement by the President on the Designation of Bears Ears National Monument…
Department of the Interior press release
Beauty of Bears Ears on Vimeo
BLM website: Bears Ears National Monument
Forest Service website: Bears Ears National Monument
Barack Obama Names Two New National Monuments Important To Native Americans Before His Term Ends
Chaffetz Outraged by Obama Decision to Impose Unwanted Midnight Monument in Utah (Note: This is on Rep. Chaffetz’ website, and you can leave a comment!)
Utah Attorney General Vows To Sue Obama Over New National Monument

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BEARS EARS!

Photo by Tim Peterson

Late Christmas present from the Obama administration.

THANK YOU FROM UTAH!

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Michael Jackson’s Greatest Song And Video

And you thought it was “Thriller”.

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Privatizing Comb Ridge: When ‘Public’ Land Isn’t Really Public

Privatizing the Comb Ridge from Friends of Cedar Mesa on Vimeo.

A key square-mile parcel of Comb Ridge near Bluff is being sold by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), ignoring the majority of Utahns who commented on the proposed sale. I attended a public hearing about this land sale in Bluff on June 7. SITLA Director David Ure opened the meeting by explaining that the state-owned lands he manages are not in fact public lands although many people have that impression. The SITLA holdings, he said, are actually PRIVATE land. The impression was created that this was a done deal no matter what anybody says.

The buyer is the Hole-in-the-Rock Foundation, which already owns the Bluff Fort tourist attraction. The Foundation says they do not have plans to build permanent structures at Comb Ridge, however after acquiring the land plans may change at any time. At the very least, they will devote the land to a single use — ignoring the broad public interest and the cultural importance of this land to Native Americans.

Here’s the big picture: Gov. Herbert and the Tea-GOP majority in the Utah legislature are planning to sue the federal government to grab 30 million acres of our public lands and national forests. If the state ever gets this land, it will instantly become PRIVATE land as David Ure can tell you. That is what is at stake here.

Support the Bears Ears National Monument!

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Can Rep. Bishop Run Out the Clock on Bears Ears National Monument?

Sally Jewell
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell toured the proposed Bears Ears National Monument last July

Yesterday Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz held a subcommittee hearing on their Public Lands Initiative (PLI) bill. There is virtually no chance of the bill becoming law, however Rep. Bishop is hopeful that by keeping the PLI in play for the few remaining weeks Congress will be in session he can block President Obama from issuing a Bears Ears National Monument proclamation.

Bishop says there’s plenty of time left.

“There is a helluva long lame-duck session,” he said in an interview. “We’re going to be here from after the election to Christmas.”

He said he doesn’t know if movement on the PLI will stop the president from acting on a monument but that the White House would be hard-pressed to explain why it made such a move against a locally driven process.

Bishop said: “It’s going to be very difficult to make this monument unless it’s simply, ‘Screw you, Utah, in your face.’ “

Bishop is ignoring the fact that the Bears Ears monument proposal has the support of a strong majority of Utahns.

More info:
Congress can still avoid a Bears Ears National Monument, says Rep. Jason Chaffetz
Beautiful Film Of The Proposed Bears Ears National Monument (July 2016)
Is President Obama Going to Do This? (June 2016)
Bishop-Chaffetz Bill Is An Attack On Our Public Lands (January 2016)
Bears Ears National Monument (November 2015)

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Beautiful Film Of The Proposed Bears Ears National Monument

Obviously filmed by somebody very passionate about this extraordinarily breathtaking landscape which must be protected.

Please sign the petition! And you might as well click on the YouTube logo button at bottom right, and “like” the video while you’re there.

Public hearing held in Salt Lake City on March 16th, showing strong opposition to planned degradation of Utah lands, including the Bears Ears area.

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