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Opinion: Critics of Trump’s national monument stance are wrong

Recent history shows there aren’t any developers champing at the bit trying to get in and plunder the region

SHARE Opinion: Critics of Trump’s national monument stance are wrong
“Protect Wild Utah” signs are picture at a party in Salt Lake City.

“Protect Wild Utah” signs are pictured during a watch party at the Radisson Hotel in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, where attendees viewed President Joe Biden sign a proclamation in Washington restoring Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments to their original boundaries.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

In response to comments criticizing Utah’s congressional delegation regarding the national monuments in Utah, I must point out some inaccurate statements that were made.

First: President Trump never planned to “sell off nearly 2 million acres of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase for private development.” That was never proposed to him nor is there any evidence to support the statement. It is a false statement, propaganda, put out by folks wanting to deceive the public.

Second: Regarding Bears Ears, existing laws such as NEPA and FLPMA severely restrict oil, and gas and mining in the area. Recent history shows there aren’t any developers champing at the bit trying to get in and plunder the region.  

In the 1950’s and ’60’s, there was a lot of drilling and mining activity, true, but since then it has been virtually nonexistent. It is misinformation to say “If they ... remove the national monument status, public access would be restricted and the lands used instead for ... mining and oil and gas.” However, the opposite is true. Monument designation draws more people, which eventually does cause restricted public access, and recent history shows that. How do you protect the land from the masses of people now coming to these areas?

Gail Johnson

Lake Powell