When President Donald Trump swung his executive branch wrecking ball at Utah’s national monuments, it was an unprecedented and probably illegal action. Now President Joe Biden has pushed the reset button and Utah Republicans have exactly what they say they want — a chance for a robust public dialog where all stakeholders can come to the table.
But instead of engaging with the process, Utah’s Republican leaders are throwing a tantrum, threatening to pressure activist judges in the Supreme Court to overturn the 1906 Antiquities Act and to undo Utah’s monuments again next time a Republican is elected president.
This ugly pattern of divisive, hyperpartisan, unstatesmanlike bullying and noncooperation is almost certainly why President Biden ignored them. Ironically, the Deseret News editorial board argues that monument status draws too many tourists. (“Give Utahns a Say in Creation of National Monuments,” Oct.12). Maybe that’s true, but in an age of GPS and geotagging, there are no secrets any more. That’s why Utah’s national monuments need good management plans. Instead of screaming about being left out, Utah Republicans should join the public process to help write them.
Salt Lake City