FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Trump Scales Back Antiquities Act, Which Helped to Create National Parks

In June 1906, the Antiquities Act was signed into law, granting Presidents the authority to reserve land and declare national monuments. President Theodore Roosevelt used the act to designate some of the first National monuments and parks, including Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park, Chaco Cultural National Historic in New Mexico, and Pinnacles National Park in California. It’s been used ever since as a tool for presidents to conserve land, expand the National Park Service, and protect America’s ecological and historic treasures.

On April 26, Trump signed an Executive Order that stipulates Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, must review about 30 national monuments that have been created since 1996 to determine if they should be rescinded, resized, or changed in anyway. In the history of the Antiquities Act, no national monument has ever been revoked, as the entire act and National Park Service was created to protect any designations of parks, historical sites, or monuments, in perpetuity. Reuters reported the executive order is part of a push to open these areas up to drilling, mining, and other development, all at the expense of lands already under protection, all under the false pretenses these protected lands were reserved in a dubious “federal land grab,” The same argument and criticism from developers and special interests have been used to obstruct the initial creation of the National Parks and subsequent additions to the park system.

One monument in particular will be heavily scrutinized, Bear Ears Monument in Utah. Republicans aggressively opposed it though native tribes in the region welcomed its protection as its considered sacred land. “The member tribes of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition hold the Bears Ears immediate landscape, as well as the lands fanning out from its twin plateaus, as traditional sacred lands,” cites the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition’s website, who pushed for the designation of the monument. The Hopi, Navajo, Ute Mountain Ute, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute tribes make up the coalition of Native American tribes who pushed Obama to create the monument.  “This land is a place where tribal traditional leaders and medicine people go to conduct ceremonies, collect herbs for medicinal purposes, and practice healing rituals stemming from time immemorial, as demonstrated through tribal creation stories.”

The Guardian reported Trump is expected to follow up this executive order with another order that will change Obama’s ban on offshore drilling. These orders are part of a broader movement within the Trump Administration and Republican Party to rescind and scale back many of the decisions made by Obama during his administration. In early January 2017, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 (H.R. 26) and the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017 (H.R. 21) were passed in the House along party lines.  The Midnight Rules Relief Act would give congress the authority to rescind multiple regulations enacted by Obama in his last six months in office with a single vote. The Regulations From the Executive In Need of Scrutiny Act targets any future Democrat Presidents, requiring any regulation with an estimated economic impact of over $100 million to be approved by congress. Some of the most progressive and beneficial actions made by Obama during his president were the ones that protected the environment, yet these same actions are the ones Republicans are easily finding common ground with one another in stripping away.

More articles by:

Michael Sainato’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, Buffalo News, the Hill, Alternet, and several other publications . Follow him on twitter: @MSainat1

September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail