Letter: Takeaways from ‘Monumental Evening’
There were some cautiously encouraging words at Wilderness Workshop’s “Monumental Evening” on Dec. 6.
Coming just two days after Trump’s decision to drastically reduce two national monuments in Utah — Bear’s Ears, established by Obama in 2016, and Grand Staircase-Escalante, established by Clinton in 1996 — a panel of three public lands advocates and one token journalist announced that lawsuits to stop the move have already been filed in federal court.
UC Hastings law professor John Leshy said the 1906 Antiquities Act reads that a president can create a monument. It doesn’t say he, she, or it can eliminate or reduce one. The stumbling block could be if they run into a Trump appointed judge.
Another interesting point Leshy made was there is no rational reason for Trump’s action. Oil and gas aren’t that interested in these lands. The only explanation Leshy could fathom is it’s just another attempt to abolish the legacy of our first black president.
When Trump first talked about this matter, he called the establishment of the monuments “a land grab.” He should know about land grabs: That’s what he does for a living and for a handsome profit. I’m trying to imagine what profit Obama and Clinton gained from their acts.
Fred Malo Jr.
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