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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 09:08AM

"Decision day looms for Utah hills and their people

Bears Ears National Monument, Utah (CNN)

If only the rocks could talk.

If only the sandstones could sing, imagine the stories they'd tell, of dinosaurs, mammoth hunters and the "ancient ones" known as the Anasazi.

All roamed southern Utah over the eons, long before Native Americans struggled to hold their land against Mormon settlers, modern life and now, Donald Trump.

As the President arrives in Utah Monday afternoon, this rocky corner of the Wild West is a battlefield once again, but this time the warriors will carry briefcases and lawsuits.
During a speech in Salt Lake City, Trump is expected to announce the fate of two national monuments: Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, created by Democratic predecessors to protect culture, history and natural beauty."

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 09:42AM

They love to show off how they help the poor. (lol)

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 11:13AM

Considering the GOP types Mormon business men (or women,) who'll be cheering Trump on as he undoes decades of environmental protections of preserved lands, they'll be right on top of that in bidding wars.

Though something tells me it may not be Mormons getting bids, but Trump cronies.

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Posted by: Up ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:05PM

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 11:46AM

Oh the irony!

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 11:19AM

A sad day (for Utah, the United States, native Americans, people, animals, the earth) or a HAPPY day!

If you are in UTAH, go to the state capital and join with the people. I'm not or I'd be there.

Someone report on today's Salt Lake City demonstrations, prostrations, and activities.



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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 12:31PM

These lands were being used for grazing and the ranchers needed them. They are not prime park-type lands and locals wanted them to stay as is.

Some of the news channels unknowingly showed photos of Arches National Monument and this was an example of the area in question which wasn't the case. It's grazing land as I understand it and it's better to let US citizens raise cattle than import meat from Australia and S. America.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 12:48PM

I am all for protecting sacred sites and cultural artifacts but the decision needs go be by the people who live in the state and more particularly the county in question.

Joint use is possible and is successfully done elsewhere.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 01:53PM

They just nibble at stubble, wander, and care for their young until branding time. It doesn't hurt the land.

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Posted by: Jimbo ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 08:19PM

Depends if you are talking about grazing or overgrazing . The latter most certainly does harm the land. Cattle ranchers want to be able graze cattle on public land .Why? because it's really cheap to do it.I'm for a reasonable balance between protecting some lands that are deserving of protection and public access to our lands. I am not for welfare ranchers paying very little to graze on public lands for a small percentage of what they would need to pay a private landowner. It is welfare and nothing more or less than government welfare

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 03:01AM

The cattle and the land were doing well until government officials sitting in Washington kicked out the cows.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 03:34AM

I'm having a hard time with this. The designation of Bears Ears did not alter grazing rights, policy, or enforcement at all.

Why do you suggest that the decision resulted in the "cows" being "kicked out?"

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 04:41AM

Washington didn't want locals to have a say in what happens to federal lands within their domain. States in the West need and care for these areas to fuel their economies and provide food for the nation.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 04:54AM

Surely the question is whether the change in designation resulted in a change in process and grazing patterns. It did not.

Therefore, the Obama measure produced no change in the area you claim and reversing it won't improve grazing rights. All that changes is access for mining and drilling.

Cattle access didn't change one way or the other.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 07:36AM

Locals no longer had the right to use the lands as needed. They were beholden to feds who could curb using them for grazing, hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, harvesting. The public was shoved aside so special interests could dictate to them. Only a tiny bit of this land had ancient art and resent enlargement of a year ago did not.

Native Americans were especially impacted because they have long used this land as a food and fuel source.

The article above shows signing papers at the Grand Canyon which doesn't relate to this vast area of Utah. It incorrectly tends to suggest that this current lessening of the *park* area is undoing a long established issue. That isn't the case. It's putting back some of the newly proscribed boundaries from some months ago which were imposed on the public. Public land does belong to the public and there's nothing wrong with letting them utilize it as long as they don't abuse it which they weren't.

The goal of vastly enlarging government control was to curb public use. This was a huge step toward that ultimate goal.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 05:44PM

This is incorrect.

All but one of the Navajo leaders opposed Trump's action yesterday. The Navajo want the land protected.

More generally, Obama's designation of the land did not change any of the activities you suggest. The officials enforced exactly the same rules as before.

I get the fact that you want locals to decide the use of the land, but that is a more general point and not relevant to what Obama did. Moreover, you are misrepresenting the attitude of the ultimate locals, the Native Americans, who are diametrically opposed to the position you ascribe to them.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:13PM

Falling for "leaders" from afar speaking for locals is what happens with mormons. The GAs claim to speak for everyone people fall for it without thinking.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 01:19PM

That would be a true statement if it were not false.

The "leaders" of the Utah Native Americans are not "speaking from afar." The leaders of the Ute Moutain Tribe, the Uintah and Ouray Ute Tribes, the Southern Ute Tribe, the Paiute Tribe, two Goshute tribes, the Shosone, and a range of other tribes from Utah are, by definition, "speaking from nearby." They are speaking from their particular regions of Utah.

And your notion that "the GAs claim to speak for everyone people fall for it without thinking" is true but irrelevant. The American Indian tribes have internal structures, in most cases largely democratic, that result in policies that align with tribal interests roughly as well as in functional democratic governments. The situation is hardly analogous to Mormon power structures, where there is almost no accountability to members.

Let the Native Americans speak for themselves. It is unfair to say that their tribal structures are illegitimate and that outsiders should tell them what they really want.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 04:15PM

They do not.

That's the same as saying that the president of the mormon church speaks with one voice for everyone who has been baptized. He doesn't speak for me or for thousands of others with a mormon background.

You're also suggesting that all of us must go along with decision put out by a favored group. That's like saying if the Pope suggests something we must respect and follow his directive. We don't.

The people of Utah who use these lands need to have a say in how they are regulated. They've long successfully shared the usage until some months ago when many more acres were added to the mix designating desert land as monument land. The was with no warning and no reasonable rationale. Until this unilateral action,the land users and neighbors cooperated and were satisfied.

Then politics reared its ugly head and Washington power brokers extended their powers and manipulated the situation in hopes that the next administration would expand their powers still more.

There is nothing wrong with talking to grassroots citizens and considering their opinions. They live there. They depend on having the options that have always been afforded. Their way of life and land values depend on it.

The federal government officially has title of most of Utah except for the Valley including the the primary cities and towns. This is true of several other states as well. Closing all of these lands for local use would impact residents in harmful ways. This includes people of every race. No one speaks for all the people of any race or persuasion.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 04:41PM

"Closing all of these lands for local use would impact residents in harmful ways."

The designation as a monument doesn't close the land. It opens it up to visitors. It doesn't close it to those who ranch on the land already. It doesn't close it to those who have mining rights already. It only closes it off to new leases.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 04:47PM

"The five tribes — Hopi, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni and Ute Indian — pushed for the monument status and are suing Trump and members of his administration for splitting the designation into two areas that comprise less than 202,000 acres. In a brief visit to Utah, the president also trimmed Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly 900,000 acres.
In their lawsuit, posted late Monday, the tribes argue to the U.S. District Court in Washington that the Antiquities Act does not allow a president to revoke or modify a monument — only to designate one."

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 12:49PM

I fully support the efforts of the Interior department to reform of release lands lessening the burden of managing them and release to the public or private entities.

Too much land is sitting idle. What does God say about an idle people not using his resources that he provides them. Don't be slothful with these lands.

;-) Nobody will ever be happy with what's going on. To each his own opinion.

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Posted by: Curelom Joe ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 03:50PM

Ideally the next Democratic president, whom I expect in 2021 to replace the most hated president in modern American history if not of all time, will not only restore Bears Ears National Monument to its previous size but then double it, just to give the mining corporations, the welfare ranchers, and the Utah GOP hard fingers in both eyes.

The public lands don't belong to the self-interested people in some county or other. They belong to the United States.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 01:36PM

Developers like Trump will be exploiting any opportunity to develop the area.

Picture "Trump Golf Course" at the Bears Ear and Escalante in record speed via Donald Jr & other son, Eric.

People like Trump are only out for themselves and commercial developers. You don't really believe for one second do you, it's for the benefit of locals or for farming?

Commercialization is what this is all about. Nothing more, nothing less. Developers will rape the land at a much faster pace than the tourist sites ever will.

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 01:52PM

If land is available for purchase then it's within the owner's right to develop it.

What is so bad about using resources?

Is Trump your go to argument? There are 1000s of companies that change landscapes everyday, create jobs, industries, etc all by developing land or mining a resource for raw materials etc.

You should be out for yourself too. Using your skills, make money, improve your quality of life.

I don't think they are near the purchasing phaze just yet. I wouldn't advocate farming in certain areas of the U.S. But yet it's there. Canals were built, roads created, communities created all from undeveloped land.

I don't get why some people are so against using resources. Do you want to continue exploiting other countries for their resources just so you can have your consumer goods and pristine landscapes and hope that cities are demolished so the lands are returned to animals and mother nature?

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Posted by: Curelom Joe ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 03:52PM

People must understand that the only "nature" that Donald Trump ever sees, ever visits, ever likes (just like Rush Limbaugh) is the "nature" and "great outdoors" of a manicured, first-class, private golf course.

So his indifference to nature's glories is quite unsurprising.

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Posted by: Shummy ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 02:18PM

Not exactly faith in humanity promoting this morning to watch one feeble old fossil descending the Grand Staircase of AF1 at the SLC airport two steps ahead of a feebler old fossil who then accompanies him to the headquarters of an alliance of really feeble old fossils . . . all with the intent to seal the fate of the burial grounds of plentiful and profitable prehistoric fossil remains.

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Posted by: Anonymous989 ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 03:38PM

I think this is a decision that the locals to the area should make. Big news is giving too much weight to environmentalists who don't know anything about this Utah issue, they don't know how much land is involved, they don't know how this affected the lives of the people that live there, and most of them couldn't point out where Bears Ears is located on a map anyways.

It is important to remember that this is a yuge plot of land that Obama designated as sacred only late last year (Dec. 28, 2016). Just another controversial move done by Obama as he left office.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 07:42PM

What Obama and Clinton put in place to protect the national park monuments was to prohibit and to block (new) drilling, mining, and fracking.

Hunting and grazing have continued to be allowed since the laws to protect the national monuments were enacted.

Patagonia (clothing company) and the Navajo Indian tribe are suing the federal government over this reversal, alleging Trump is overstepping his authority, and violating the Indians sovereign rights, treaties, and tribal laws.

As for how much land is involved, the national monuments have been scaled back by 2 million acres.

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 11:38AM

The lawsuit will be thrown out or defeated. A President can assign protection and only makes sense to be able to modify and remove it as well.

Seems like systematic abuse of deteriorating America's competiveness with the Globe. If not a blatant attack on State's rights to use and assign land by purchase or leasing to improve state budget $ inflows.

Like anything. You can't please everyone with an opinion.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 04:25PM

Phazer Wrote:
> Seems like systematic abuse of deteriorating
> America's competiveness with the Globe.

Hardly. Mining coal makes us less globally competitive, not more.

> If not a
> blatant attack on State's rights to use and assign
> land by purchase or leasing to improve state
> budget $ inflows.

Since none of this was state land, that's completely false.
There were a few undevelopable state-owned parcels in the monument area (of Grand Staircase Escalante) when the "monument" was designated in 1996 -- the rest was federal land since Utah was a territory. And in 1998, the state traded those few parcels for the transfer to the state of some similar-sized parcels in other federally-owned land areas and $50M in cash in 1998. They got their "budget $ inflow" from the part they owned.

The state of Utah doesn't have "state's rights" over land it doesn't own or control.

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Posted by: NYCGal ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 08:30PM

Thank you for setting the record straight. This is federal land. It is not state land. The state of Utah and locals have no cognizable interest in the land. I am so tired of hearing that what the locals want should be considered. It’s federal land. Locals may not like it, but that’s life. You don’t have rights in land you don’t own just cause you live near it.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 09:20PM

That is legally correct but I don't think it is the end of the story. The interests of locals should be taken into account and accommodated to the extent possible: that is certainly true of the Native Americans, whose moral (if not actual) claims are persuasive but it also applies to ranchers, hikers, and other groups.

I'm not arguing with your general point, just saying that a good steward of the land would allow people to use it to the extent that that can be done without jeopardizing the original intent.

And, again, what we are witnessing this week is a radical violation of the original intent. It is a president opening up federal land to exploitation by some of the worst polluters around because he identifies, financially and personally, with those polluters. He did this, furthermore, in direct disregard of the stated wishes of almost the entire Native American community. Those people's beliefs should matter: they should matter a lot.

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 09:54PM

Ok. Thanks for the info.

If the land is and was Federal land perhaps locals should just stop debating the matter and getting involved if the Feds are in charge to create and resize or destroy it.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 10:00PM

The monuments were created by both President Obama and President Clinton under the Antiquities Act of 1906 (?).

Presidents have the right to protect national monuments using the act. It's not clear that presidents have the right to remove those protections. That's why it's going to go to court.

Edit to add: Rights to the land that existed before the designation continue to exist after the designation (cattle grazing rights, oil and gas drilling rights, etc.0. New rights are not generally allowed after the designation.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2017 10:04PM by Devoted Exmo.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 07:44PM

I listened today to a TV report showing the Bears Ears and a rock wall with a 1200 yr old drawing on it, signed by a bear claw (I think they said that's what it is). They mentioned "bullet holes" in the cliffs. Twice the narrator mentioned Mormon wagon trains ("which is where the bullet holes came from"). I had to laugh though when he said this land has been fought over "in the *centuries* [his emphasis] since those Mormon wagon trains".

I don't know many details about Mormon history but by my scant knowledge it's been ~170 years, slightly less than plural centuries, since BY and his wagons rolled in. Maybe it just seems like centuries to some folks?

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 12:05AM

Anyone here see or familiar with "Bidder 61" (I think it is) or Tim DeChristopher, the U of U student turned activist, that halted a southern Utah land auction by bidding on multiple parcels, and had the end result of protecting those lands during Bush's fire sales in his last days in that position.

Thanks Tim!


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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 08:49PM

I wasn't aware of this before now. Thanks for adding it to the discussion.

Reading up on it is pretty clear that the GOP administration in 2008 had the same intent to exploit the land that the current administration must be devising.

Once that land is gone, it isn't coming back.

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Posted by: ziller ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 12:36AM

LOL @ Utah hills and their people ~

just LOL ~

LOL @ utards who live in a sand-covered desert sh!t-hole in the middle of the mother-f*cking wilderness ~

LOL @ the giant ugly rocks ( you call mountains ) blocking out the beautiful sky ~

LOL @ the stupid Lamanites trying to profit on they false Book of Mormon heritage ~


jus LOL ~

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 04:52AM

They want to continue to have access to it. It isn't they who are pushing for more federal rulings.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 05:09AM

Actually, the Native Americans are asking for more federal protection.

Like ranchers who use federal land for graving, so too do NAs use the land for their purposes. Neither group has lost access due to the Obama decision.

Do the Native Americans want more federal regulation? We know that they object to the removal of such protection and that they would welcome more protective status, so yes they do want federal regulation.

This is Trump and the miners and frackers versus the ranchers, environmentalists, and Native Americans. The Native Americans are almost unanimous in their hostility to what the administration now wants to do.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 07:41AM

Some of those who live outside the region banded with Washington interests are vastly different than most of the locals in Utah.

Overall, the Native Americans who live near this giant area in Utah want to use the land without undue outside interference.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2017 12:22PM by Cheryl.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 06:00PM

Your position is not factual.

Among the tribes that opposed Trump's action yesterday were the Ute Moutain Tribe, the Uintah and Ouray Ute Tribes, the Southern Ute Tribe, the Paiute Tribe, two Goshute tribes, the Shosone, and a range of other tribes from Utah. There are a lot of groups who oppose the intrusion into Native lands, but these are the ones that are unequivocally locals.

So your statement that it is outside Native Americans who are agitating against the Trump initiative is false. With a single Navajo exception, all of the local Utah tribes wanted to stay with the Obama policy.

You write that the "Native Americans who live near this giant area in Utah want to use the land without undue outside interference" is true. That is precisely why they oppose Trump's change. Those areas have been preserved for Native Americans, cattle grazers, hikers, and others to use. What yesterday's action did was to remove the protections, opening the areas to the "outsiders"--primarily miners and oil companies.

The collusion was between mining and petroleum interests and the Trump administration. The Native Utahns tried to stop that outsider intervention.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 10:23PM

That they all have one voice. No. That's not the case.

Reporting that that they all speak for one point of view is wrong and is not factual. Many use those lands to feed themselves and their families. That's a good thing and those who need this resource should not be dismissed as you are doing. That's shameful to listen only to the loud mouthed so-called leaders, like the GAs of the mormon cult who speak for all of the members.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 11:27PM

Of course the Native Americans are individuals and a lot of them make their living from the lands. I said that several times above.

There are three problems with your analysis. First, you wrote that there was an alliance between non-Utah tribes and "Washington" in favor of the situation before Trump's new action. That is precisely the sort of broad stereotype of which you accuse me. I am the one who, from the beginning of this discussion, has mentioned the (surprisingly little) lack of unanimity in the NA community.

Second, it is reasonable to assume that the tribes are largely representative, meaning that their leaders speak for the majority of tribe members. It follows that if the majority of tribes officially oppose what Trump did, most of the NAs do too. Which raises the question why would would clear majority of the Native Americans dislike Trump's measure.

The answer--and this is the critical point--is because Trump is acting against what the vast majority of NAs see as their interests. Contrary to your intimation, the rules that the Obama administration enforced on the lands in question were precisely the same as those before and since. Obama did not "kick out" the cows; Obama did not restrict NA rights. Anyone who thinks something changed with Obama is obviously operating on a set of assumptions about the man, and perhaps his successor, rather than an appreciation of the facts on the ground.

Why are the Utah tribes almost uniformly opposed to what Trump did? Because he wants to open up the lands to groups that have a proven record of destroying NA lands and livelihoods. Strip mines and fracking are hardly going to benefit the locals: they will simply shift wealth from the lands on which the NAs have long lived to the shareholders of the companies who tear up that land. That is why all but one of the tribes are joining in the suit against Trump.

Surely we owe it to the Native Americans to take their word at face value.

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Posted by: cinda ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 09:31PM

Many unhappy people in UT yesterday and several native tribes have vowed to sue Trump in court! I'm rooting for them :)

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 10:57PM

So Mormon settlers, how’s it feel to have your land stolen from you? Just be glad nobody’s giving you flour with ground up glass in it.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 11:26PM

RfM link:,2051811

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2017 11:32PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: icanseethelight ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 01:32PM

LOL at this whole thread.

Trump changed the nomenclature back from National Monument to National Park.

Constitutionally, there is not a single line about stealing State Lands. The 1906 Antiquities Act was simply a way for Presidents to secure their legacy and steal more states rights.

To claim more than 2 million acres as a "monument" is absurd. It always has been.

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Posted by: Ranger Ron ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 02:30PM

Trump did not "change the nomenclature back to National Park".
1. Land never was a National Park to be changed back to.
2. Trump does not have the ability to establish a National Park which can only be done by Congress.
3. These lands were never "State lands". They never belonged to Utah. They belonged to the United States ever since the end of the Mexican war (see Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo)
4. Constitution of the United States, Article 4, Section 3, second paragraph: "The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state."
So Congress has the constitutional right to pass the Antiquities Act to allow Presidents the right to establish monuments. The state of Utah has no legitimate claim to said lands per the Constitution. As to your claim that 2 million acres for a monument is "absurd", that is merely your opinion.

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 04:50PM

So many people upset abut dirt and rocks.

I laughed at Trump's speech when he said, all those he counseled told him that the didn't see issues with reducing the amount of land. Haha!

Any type of Government reduction is a good thing. I laughed when I read there was one Federal Officer in charge of 2 million acres. Granted it was a quiet piece of land but that's just funny to me.

It's like the facebook system administrators. 1 SA for every 20,000 servers. It's probably more now.

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 02:10PM

Chinese own 97% of rare earth mineral extraction

China's rare earth industry makes up 97 percent of rare mineral trade worldwide.

Why the US buys all its rare earth metals from China

China undercut U.S. mines, They do not care about any industial impacting enviromental laws. Thorium removal and high EPA regulations put many mines out of business. Federalizing land also forced closures of mine operations in addition to EPA policy that knocked them out.

Obama took out 20 million acres out of use.

During Clinton admin, he shut down a Gold mine [Crown Butte Mines owned by a Canadaian company] that was 54 miles from YellowStone that become part of the Bio Sphere protection area.
$65 Million dollar pay off to not mine $650 Million dollars worth of Gold....which is STILL there. Sitting there only waiting to be mined. Senator John D. Rockefeller 4th of West Virginia was in attendance.

Foreign mineral company stocks increased and I'm sure many in power improved their position and wealth.

There are very very few mining operation for rare earth minerals in U.S.

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Posted by: [|] ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 03:25PM

You do realize that minerals can only be mined where they exist.
I am not aware that there are any significant deposits of rare earth minerals in any of the monuments in question. If you are, show us the link to the geological report that confirms that. Otherwise your bringing rare earth minerals into this debate is just a red herring.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 03:33PM

Including your reply because the main issue here isn't any kind of threat to monuments.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2017 03:43PM by Cheryl.

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Posted by: HaHaHa ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 04:00PM

So undoing the monuments isn't a threat to them?

What silly tripe.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 04:51PM

The desert area around the pictographs was vastly expanded a few months ago. Now the space around this area is returned to where it has always been.

The expansion was unneeded and temporary.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 05:29PM

The entire rock formations of southern Utah (northern tip of the Mojave Desert,) are filled with oxidized iron and trace minerals - that's what gives them the splendid hues they're famous for. I'm sure if some enterprising businessmen wanted to "harvest" that potential 'gold mine' they'd be doing it given the opportunity.

"So what’s behind the spectacular hues for which Utah is so famous? The color of rock is primarily influenced by trace minerals. The red, brown, and yellow colors so prevalent in southern UT result from the presence of oxidized iron–that is iron that has undergone a chemical reaction upon exposure to air or oxygenated water. The iron oxides released from this process form a coating on the surface of the rock or rock grains containing the iron.

Just think of what happens to a nail when you leave it outside. Upon prolonged exposure, the iron in the nail oxidizes and rust is formed as a coating on the surface of the nail. So basically what we have in red rock country is a lot of rusting sandstones and shales. Hematite is an especially common mineral form of iron oxide in Utah, the name coming from the Greek word “heama” or red blood. It only takes a tiny bit of hematite make a lot of red rock.

Geologists refer to rock layers of similar composition and origin within a given geographic area as “formations.” Certain formations in Utah are especially known for their beautiful reds or pinks. The Permian Period gave us Organ Rock shale which caps the buttes and pinnacles of Monument Valley. The deep ruddy browns of the Moenkopi formation were formed in the Triassic. In the early Jurassic, eastern Utah was a vast sea of sand with wind-blown dunes. These dunes became the red bed deposits of the Wingate Formation which today forms massive vertical cliffs. Entrada sandstone, from the late Jurassic, forms the spectacular red, slickrock around Moab."

Here's what makes those beautiful red rocks:

"In many of Southern Utah’s rock formations, the sand or mud is cemented together with hematite – a rusty red iron oxide mineral – and limonite – a yellow iron oxide mineral.

Take, for instance, the Navajo sandstone that makes up the sheer cliffs ofZionNational Park. During the Jurassic Period – about 180 million years ago – this area was covered by a vast desert. Some of the sand may have been red at the time from the iron mineral (geologists can’t be sure, there are no photos from that time) but it is more likely the sand was your typical tan color. Those sand grains haven’t changed color. If you look at a piece of Navajo sandstone under a microscope, the grains themselves are still white, gray or tan, but the grains are completely coated with the hematite cement, giving the appearance that the rock is totally red."

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Posted by: MeM ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 08:12PM

Interesting debate that generates a lot of emotion. I think there is a Mormon connection to southern Utah land issues that is sometimes forgotten.
Southern Utah Mormons have a long standing mistrust and antagonism towards the federal government that goes clear back to the polygamy raids of the 1800's when federal marshals were traveling through southern Utah seeking to arrest polygamists. To Mormons that was seen as religious persecution.
That mistrust and resentment has carried down to the present day and affects the attitudes of many elected officials and rural residents in Utah.
Without that history, it would be much more likely that Utah officials could work with federal officials to find common ground on public lands.

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