Clinton, Obama Land Grabs Were Abuses of Antiquities Act

(Megan Hansen and Camille Harmer, InsideSources) Donald Trump recently signed an executive order that tasks the Interior Department with investigating 24 of the 57 national monuments designated since 1996.

Trump Exec Order May Make Short Work of Obama Monument Designation

Photo by Jeffrey Beall (CC)

Some worry that this order is the first step in allowing presidents to reverse national monument designations.

But the order addresses a deeper issue — whether a century-old law has been abused by presidents in the last 20 years. While the Antiquities Act may have been important for preserving some Native American artifacts, recent monument designations have allowed presidents to affect the access to and use of millions of acres of land without regard to local effects.

Since 1906, the Antiquities Act has allowed presidents to change the use of land with the stroke of a pen — land that they have frequently never seen. The Antiquities Act was designed to allow presidents to protect lands that are in immediate danger of being damaged.

The Antiquities Act specifies that designated areas must cover “the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.” The first monument created under the Antiquities Act, Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming, covers 1,347 acres, less than 3 square miles. The monument covers the Devil’s Tower itself — nothing more.

Bears Ears National Monument, an area in southern Utah designated at the end of 2016, covers far more than the buttes it’s named for. The monument spans 1.35 million acres (roughly 2,100 square miles) and includes neighboring canyons, gulches and even an existing wilderness area.

When national monument designations are made over vast swaths of land, the results can be devastating to locals. In 1996, President Bill Clinton designated Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, an area in southern Utah that covers 1.9 million acres. Clinton announced the designation from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, more than 100 miles from the monument itself. When he announced the monument, locals and Utah officials were blindsided. While some Utahans were concerned about mining in the area, there was no local movement to manage and protect the land with a federal designation. It seems that Clinton might have designated the area purely in a political ploy, not in the interest of protecting the land.

In 2016, near the end of his time in office, President Barack Obama designated Bears Ears National Monument. Prior to the designation, Utah Rep. Rob Bishop, a Republican, proposed the Public Lands Initiative, an alternative to the national monument that would have created 11 national conservation areas and added to or created 41 wilderness areas. In addition, the bill would have opened up some of Utah’s lands to energy development.

While there may have been national support for the monument’s designation, many Utahans and those closest to the area did not want it. The designation restricts grazing and prohibits the collection of wood in the area. Since many locals depend on wood to heat their homes and cook their food, the national monument could hurt local people.

It’s easy to agree that the American landscape should be managed in such a way that our great-great-grandchildren will be able to enjoy its beauty. In that respect, the intentions of the Antiquities Act are noble. But designations like Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears that cover millions of acres and ignore local impacts suggest the law has been abused.

With so much evidence of federal overreach, we shouldn’t be afraid to examine recent national monument designations. When laws intended to protect some of our most valued landscapes are instead abused to win political battles, both current and future generations of Americans lose.

Original Source

  • Paul Williamson

    The locals do not own the land – the Federal Government does.

    • Rob Longwood

      Illegally claims the land. Read the Constitution!

      • Cal Freeman

        The Federal Government cannot own land…

    • JKH

      Article I Section 8 Clause 17 states the federal government can only obtain land from the states(up to 10 square miles) for federal use only if the state legislatures approve it. The US Constitution’s intent was that ALL land within the borders of each new adopted state was controlled by that state. This means all National Parks are supposed to be State Parks. The Antiquities Act and Native-American reservations are unconstitutional. To prove me wrong, please refer me to the Amendment of the US Constitution that repeals Article I Section 8 Clause 17.

  • Deplorable wizard

    Of course the deals are shady, the name’s “clinton”and “obama” scream SHADY!
    In this case, the reasoning is probably obscure if the money isn’t blatantly obvious.

    Just reverse their orders, then the reasoning will bubble to the surface.

    • gpo1913

      The election of Donald Trump messed up their plans

      • Deplorable wizard

        Oh yeah, thank God.

      • Brenda Sinclair

        yes president trump did mess up hillary and obamas plans to destroy and take over america many christains prayed for God to help and He did we have a real presiddent who cares about americans not muslims

  • Kirk Kahler

    i am not surprised at all I mean Obama/Clinton/MSM/far left they are all dirty and there corrupt cartel is coming out in the open every week what I want to know is why are they still walking free ??

    • Keith Walters

      Because you have been lied to about their “corruption,” and you have naively believe their lies.

      That’s why.

  • bt90

    Ole STUPID Obama designated some land next to the Mexican border in New Mexico as a wilderness area and the drug dealers are using it to smuggle drugs in and open for the illegals to come in. Obama is a pos sob

    • Bandit

      That is why he did that so he can get free cocain and other drugs he uses.

      • Craig Vandertie

        Now what would Muhammad/allah say about snorting or free basing Cocaine, shame on you Bathhouse Barry Osama, shame!

        • Keith Walters

          So you are one of the deplorables, eh? You believe whatever your media tells you. Honestly–the scum of the earth. A democracy required informed voters, not dumber-than-mud idiots.

      • Keith Walters

        You are so incredibly stupid that I am surprised you are allowed to use a computer.

    • Craig Vandertie

      Fact, the open range is the most convenient means for members of the Mexican drug cartels to get their drugs into the U.S., if you have not seen the documentary Cartel Land I strongly recommend watching it.

  • temporary guest

    You may recall Hillary Clinton saying she wanted to put coal miners out of business. Here is what Bill Clinton did to coal miners and nobody even noticed: laissez-fairerepublic.com/indocoal.htm

    Not only did he shut down a trillion dollar coal resource and probably more than 1,000 American jobs in the United States, he made the second largest deposit of the same type of coal into the worlds most profitable coal mining operation. It’s located in Indonesia.

    • Craig Vandertie

      I am curious as to what the average lifespan of a career coal miner is, or the average medical costs when they start displaying lung problems?

      Even if all the pollutants are filtered out of coal fired boilers to create electricity just how do they dispose of the contaminants?

      • temporary guest

        I don’t know what to tell you about the lifespan of a career coal miner, except to say that NIOSH and OSHA enforce regulations for their protection that did not exist decades ago.

        As for what is done with the “contaminants” at coal fired power plants … I’m not sure what you mean unless you are referring to the fly ash that remains after the coal is burnt. I don’t know much about coal fired power plant operations except for cleanup of the fly ash. I spent some time on removal crews for that job myself. We wore necessary protective gear including approved respirators with HEPA filters. It was hard work, but I’m no worse for wear because of it. That’s probably been 20 years ago and even then, we had the filtered respirators. I’m 65 now, in better health I think than most men my age.

        I also spent 15 years as an asbestos abatement supervisor and I think it safe to say that so long as workers follow the rules and regulations and don’t do anything stupid, they’re safe enough. I don’t know that coal miners wear the same breathing equipment these days that I did for all those years, but I’d guess that they do.

    • Keith Walters

      Coal mining jobs are not coming back. People had a choice to either believe Trump’s lies or accept the fact that the jobs are note coming back and accept the retraining and education Clinton offered to get miners current jobs and jobs with a future.

      But just like PA voters believed the lie that Trump would bring back steel “just like it used to be,” WV chose to believe the Liar in Chief, the Golfer in Chief, President P#$$y-Grabber. But, hey, if kids can carry Trump signs, I guess their parents must think that sexual assault is no big deal.

      • temporary guest

        … any anybody that thinks Hillary Clinton was a better choice just doesn’t think at all.

  • Slav2012

    my brother-in-law in Greeley, CO, constantly complains that BLM has most of the West locked up so no development can occur. Even where private land abuts to BLM or NFS managed land, the FEDs are constantly trying to encroach on the rights of private landowners. With EPA attacking private landowners over wetlands, many landowners cheered on when Cliven Bundy stood up to the Feds over use of rangeland. In much of the Mountain West, the largest payroll in a particular area is a federal agency.

    • Bandit

      There are many in the desert here in cali that have land and much of it has been marked as wet lands now how can a desert be a wet land when there is no water for many many miles around, the only water on my land is the septic tank and any rain that falls soaks into the ground almost at once, nope the epa is so totally out of control that they need to be shut down now, just look at the damage the epa has caused in the last few years,! Don’t believe it, look what happened to the Animas river just two years ago, the epa broke that dam and let all that polluted water into the river thus turning it a bright yellow, well that water had stuff like mercury in it as well as many other very toxic chemicals. The epa is acting like a government unto themselves , and that needs to stop, but the demoncrats want to keep them around.

      • Slav2012

        National Wetlands Act was worded to say any potential navigable waters now ir in the future. Enviro’s used that to define navigable was anyplace you could spit and see mousture bead up on the ground where the spittle landed. Seems really a stretch to normal, reasonable people, but thats how government types think.

        • Bandit

          That lets my area off the hook, the only place that, that would even come close is the dry lakes that we have,the only times those even look like they have water is when it rains.but in my immediate area there is nothing, unless you want to include the man made holding basin that the rock quarry built about 12 years ago for cleaning rock.

          • Slav2012

            Good luck out there Hermano. Had family in Barstow once. Now all gone. Thankfully so. They were proud Californians and now probably turning over in their graves. But I do remember some great visits to the high desert.

  • Ralph

    Obama is a criminal and we all know it. The question is why is he not prosecuted and why is Hilary free and for that matter Lois Lerner and Susan rice? There are many more that have committed criminal acts yet no action is ever taken, why is that? Am I the only one who sees the criminal actions? Eric Holder fast and furious? How is that not a crime? And him and Lerner plead the fifth? Really? When do the people regardless of party wake up?

    • A piano

      Your 100 percent right Ralph,they need to be held accountable especially if president trump wants to move forward with his agenda he needs to slap them down once & for all as well as others who stand in his way.

      • Ppointy

        It is not a question of whether President Trump needs to have these miscreants arrested, brought to Trial.
        It is required in order to PROVE to the World that JUSTICE is practiced within the USA.

        • Craig Vandertie

          The Mexican government never laughed as much and as loud at our government than they did during the reign of that “illegal homosexual Kenyan nationalist Moonie Muslime Bathhouse Barry Osama,” his total disregard of immigration laws and no concern towards illegal drugs making their way into the U.S., our citizens out of work, and the cartels and Mexican government profiting handsomely.

          • Brenda Sinclair

            BATH HOUSE BARRY MOOSLUMMIE got paid off by the cartels and mexican government, he went in poor now worth 5millions and did not do it on a president salary, obama is crooked and corrupt as hillary both need prison and waterboarding

          • Craig Vandertie

            No argument by me.

        • temporary guest

          Amen to that. In the presence of justice freedom can thrive. In the absence of justice freedom is an unreachable dream. We are a great nation, or we are not. The deciding factor has always been and always be either the presence or absence of justice.

        • Keith Walters

          If justice were practiced in the USA, government agents who shoot unarmed citizens would be locked up, and Trump would be called out and held responsible for his lies–each and every one of them.

          Fortunately, we still have free media tPA hat tries to do just that. But it wouldn’t be free if Trump had his way. BTW, the NY Times is not “failing,” as President P#$$y-Grabber likes to say. Subscriptions have soared in the last three months. And don’t hold your breath for WV coal mining jobs coming back or steel coming back to PA “just like it used to be.” These are more Trump lies.

          • Brenda Sinclair

            hey keith how about obama being called out for his 8yrs of lies? each and every one of those lies!! and hillary for her lies, bill clinton and bush for their lies oh and fbi comey for his millions of lies

          • Craig Vandertie

            Walters, I would say you are an idiot, but labeling you as such would be a compliment.

        • Danny

          Thomas Payne had a saying, to have a conversation with a man that has renounced common sense is like giving medicine to a dead man. In reading Keith Walters ignorant comments I hope he is resting in peace.

    • Bandit

      Demoncrats almost never get punished for the crimes they commit, but on the other hand it would be great to see some of these demon thugs behind bars for the rest of their lives and longer, make them rot in prison. hitlery clintoonish has had how many people murdered since 1972. And that bamba boy is not much better. As far as I am concerned the whole lot of demoncrats belong in prison up on charges of treason and many others, bamba boy needs to have the additional charges or sedition so he can go the way of the dinosaurs.MAKE THEM WALK ACROSS THE TAR PITS.

      • Craig Vandertie

        Those Demoncommiecratic State and Federal politicians of CaliMexifornia were voted in by means of illegal aliens, dead people and family pets, do not think for 1 moment they would make all those you just mentioned walk into the Ranch Le Brea tar pits, they would build an enclosed walk across and over it for them, no toxic fumes other than those emanating from their heroes, Barack Osama and Killary Clinton that is.

        • Bandit

          That keven ghost gun de leon suggested that one some years ago after an illegal fell in the pits, the fire rescue got him out but de leon wanted to fill then in and cover them over, there are those that think the tar pits are caused from pollution, I still say throw them in.

      • Keith Walters

        I guess you never heard of Eliot Spitzer. Maybe you should start reading the NY Times, which broke that story.

      • Brenda Sinclair

        I AGREE WITH YOU BUT HOLD ON JEFF SESSIONS IS NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN GIVE HIM A CHANCE

    • Keith Walters

      Because they are not criminals. You have just been duped by propaganda.

      Turn off talk radio and think for yourself for a change.

      Try to keep up.

      • Brenda Sinclair

        obama and hillary are not criminals you must be on soros and obamas payroll of $15.00 to troll sites and make such comments. oh and i heard soros is not paying off the people 15.00 they worked for rioting protesting they did it free, karma is great

    • Brenda Sinclair

      why is clapper, brennan, schumer, pelosi, kaine, biden, kerry, lynch,waters,cummings,blumenthal all pedophiles not in jail? game is called ‘BLACKMAIL

  • Ralph

    The biggest problem we have as a country is that going forward the democrats will probably win because the media and big money will turn the growing minority population into demorats and socialists like bernie sanders will win. Very scary.

    • Keith Walters

      You forget that only a minority of voters “elected” Trump. The majority voted for Clinton.

      You are the minority.

      • Ralph

        Until the MAGA

      • Johnny Mac

        Ever study the Electoral College and its purpose dumbass!!!

  • R. T.

    All Federal land grabs are !!!
    If the Fed’s need the land have the Congress buy the land at market value !

  • laundryman01

    I think those deals should have had the true named of the two presidents,Sneaky Clinton and Shady Obama. Anything they have been connected with should be investigated!!!

    • Keith Walters

      Yeah, Obama is SOOOOO shady that he brought the economy out of the Great Recession, saved the banks, Wall Street, and the auto industry, took our out #1 enemy in Osama bin Laden, kept our troops from being killed in a daily basis in Iraq, kept Iran from getting nukes by last Christmas, and committed the atrocities of trying to get all Americans covered by health insurance and protect wilderness lands for future generations. Oooh, he was SOOOO EVIL!!

    • Keith Walters

      Yeah, Obama is SOOOOO shady that he brought the economy out of the Great Recession, saved the banks, Wall Street, and the auto industry, took our out #1 enemy in Osama bin Laden, kept our troops from being killed in a daily basis in Iraq, kept Iran from getting nukes by last Christmas, and committed the atrocities of trying to get all Americans covered by health insurance and protect wilderness lands for future generations. Oooh, he was SOOOO EVIL!!

      And did I mention that he kept gas prices low and brought unemployment under 5%? Not bad for a corrupt, America-hating Muslim!!

      • Johnny Mac

        Hey Moron!! Bush warned the country several times that easy acquisition of homes by those unable to pay to pay played the biggest role in bringing the bubble. Dumbass liberals led the way for the “Great Recession”. Hey Keith! Get an education!!!!! Love hearing a liberal whine!!!!!! ALinsky, hero of Hillary and OBama, at work.

  • Kenn Talbot

    Clinton and Obama land grabs were wrong. Blah, blah. blah. There is not one republican wuss who dares stand up to the all-powerful Democrat regime, so just shut up and accept it.

    • Bandit

      That is because you are a demoncrat and demoncrats are just a bunch of DEMONS hateful one at that.

      • Kenn Talbot

        Wrong Bandit, I am 100% conservative republican, always have been and always will be. I voted for Trump 6 months ago and will again in 2020 if given a chance. My disgust is with all the Rinos and the rest who oppose all he stands for. He pledged to repeal and replace the cursed Obomacare and we expected the left would never go along, but guess what? our buddies on the right were as much opposed as those on the left. The republican reps were elected with majorities in their districts; it is time they accept that this is what their people want and vote accordingly. You can feel free to comment on anything I ever post, but please never call me a democrat again.

        • Bandit

          Sorry about that, I do agree that those rinos are just a bunch of wusses and need to be kicked out of office, The way I see it there is not one demoncrat that is worth a plugged penny, the rinos are no better than traitors to the country, just look at the things that mccain has said and done, he was a traitor back in 68-69 when he blew the flight deck of the USS. Forrestal to bits killing several crewmen.

  • thomas

    OVER 60 YEARS OF DEMOCRAT CORRUPTION IN WASHINGTON BILLIONS WASTED ON FRUITLESS ENDEAVORS DEMOCRAT PARTY NOW OWNED BY LIBATARDS OF PROGRESSIVE DNC NAZI-COMMIE-SOCIALIST AGENDAS SERVE TO CORRUPT ALL OF AMERICAN CITIZENS WAY OF LIVING.

    • Keith Walters

      Hey, Captain Caps, the all the Nazis, White Supremicists, and K of the KKK voted for Trump.

  • posercom

    This land is reserved as collateral for our national debt.

  • Richard Ellis

    i agree

  • george briar

    every day it’s becoming clearer and clearer why they didn’t want Trump in there. Trump has already stated that much of this land could be sold and could pay off the national debt and help American’s in many ways. It’s obvious the Clinton’s and Obama’s only agendas were to keep America down while they lined their pockets with unearned money. corruption at it’s best. never elect another Clinton or Obama or democrat either.

  • Steven Coy

    OBAMINATION IS AN ABOMINATION AND TRAITOR, HE IS AN ILLEGAL NOT BLACK HALF BREED IGNORANT PAWN OF GEORGE SOROS AND A SUNNI MUSLIM WHO HATES AMERICA WHITE PEOPLE AND OUR CONSTITUTION AND BILL OF RIGHTS AND HAS NEARLY DESTROYED THIS COUNTRY AND THE NEW MARXIST PARTY VOTERS DON’T HAVE A FKING CLUE ABOUT WHO HE IS AND WHAT DAMAGE HE HAS DONE TO THIS COUNTRY OR DON’T CARE BECAUSE THEY ARE MARXISTS THEMSELVES !!!! VIETNAM VET

  • David Renaud

    Clinton and Obama are both crooked people….. I would not trust any of them….They are all liars…..

  • ONTIME

    Gov land grabs are just another form of elitism disguised as environmental mandates but are nothing more than legal land theft……

  • JKH

    You are correct to state that the federal government can not own land outside those areas designated in the Constitution.
    * The Property Clause gives power to the federal government to dispose of land only, not acquire it.
    * The Enclave Clause is #17 of the Article I Section 8 Necessary and Proper Clause powers. The Necessary and Proper clause can not expand its powers beyond what the Enclave Clause specifies and limits. The Enclave Clause states that up to ten square miles can be acquired for the “Seat of the Government of the United States”. It continues to state: “…and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful buildings;…”. “like Authority” means all land acquired for federal use(up to ten square miles)must be approved by the state legislatures that is within its state borders.
    * The Enclave Clause states the federal government is required to abide by it to acquire land for federal government purposes.

  • Ronnie Lee

    I agree with all except the hidden part. The liberals are to stupid to believe that conservatives know and understand their crookedness.

  • Barg1

    The Clinton Escalante Stairway designation was a pay off to the Lupo family in Indonesia for ?campaign funds for his run. Escalante is the 1st or 2nd largest known soft coal deposit behind the Lupos coal land in Indonesia. Ya think quid pro-quo???????

  • Gary Von Neida

    What Clinton did to Utah and Their CLEAN COAL was (is) unforgivable. What a PUTZ.

  • JKH

    The federal government made pre-statehood agreements with the western state territories requiring them to cede land to the federal government as a condition for their statehood. These agreements should have been null, void, and unconstitutional since only state legislatures(not territories) can approve land acquisitions by the federal government.