Category Archives: Antiquities Act

“Local input” sounds good if you say it fast

No sooner had the Bears Ears National Monument been proclaimed than local Utah politicians launched a concerted effort to undo it. Kirsten Allen and her gang at Torrey House Press have gone to great lengths to help support the making of the Monument and may indeed have played a role in its creation by the President Obama and the Department of the Interior. They created and published Red Rock Testimony and took hundreds of copies to Washington D.C. They simultaneously came out with Edge of Morning, a book of all Native voices in support of the Bears Ears. These are very nice people, why would they promote an outcome that local people don’t want? Continue reading

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Rob Bishop is flunking economics.

Utah Representative Rob Bishop has brought out Southern Utah University professor Ryan Yonk, to give testimony to the Public Lands Subcommittee about his recently issued paper, a paper without peer review, asserting wilderness and protective designations for federal lands have a negative economic impact on local communities.  No wonder right wing climate change deniers like Bishop feel like academia can be bought.  Just as when Bishop towed Escalante Mayor Jerry Taylor before Congress to testify against national monuments and Taylor received serious backlash from his own chamber of commerce when he got back to Escalante, Yonk is getting backlash.  Headwater Economics and  Republican Jim DiPeso of thedailygreen.com and the policy director for Republicans for Environmental Protection reply.  . . . more>>

Soren Jespersen answers the extractors about jobs

Kirsten and I had dinner with Soren and his wife Kristen while we were in Steamboat Springs last week.  Soren is the son of my old Wasatch Advisors partner, Roy Jespersen, and it was good to catch up with Soren and find out what he was working on for The Wilderness Society.  I was disappointed to learn that public land grazing is considered a third rail by The Wilderness Society, but encouraged about the work they were doing, along with ranchers, on protecting land that ought not to be drilled and mined.  Soren published this about Salazar’s visit to the West recently.  . . . more>>

Preaching conservation without a choir

Western politicians and special interest local factions have always been against the idea of protecting and conserving tracts of public land.  It’s no different today.  Kirsten and I were just in Moab this week — it’s now late in September– and the town is still packed with tourists.   We had breakfast with a couple from upstate New York who were blown away by the vast beauty of the open West.  Folks from around the U.S. and the world flock in for a taste of America’s wild heritage, to the point that we risk loving the land to death.  Yet our local politicians speak as if conservation is a D.C. based political conspiracy that hurts the West.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is in Utah promoting conservation this week.  Is it representative that he gets the cold shoulder?  . . . more>>

New Wilderness Designations in Montana?

The possibility of breaking the 28-year stretch of no new wilderness designations in Montana by designating the Sleeping Giant and Sheep Creek WSAs thrills John Gatchell, the conservation director for the Montana Wilderness Association.   “That area looks the same now as it did when Lewis and Clark passed through here 200 years ago,” Gatchell said. “Captain Clark walked across it hunting, while Lewis brought the boats up the Missouri River. It has a lot of historical value for us here in Lewis and Clark County — it’s our heritage.”   BLM Director Bob Abbey recently visited the area.  . . . more>>