President Trump has recently undertaken the task of stopping
the grabbing and hoarding of land by the federal government.
He has begun by ordering a review of national monument
designations with this purpose in mind, to "end another
egregious use of government power" as he so aptly termed it.
His executive order directs the Interior Secretary to review all
national monuments of over 100,000 acres that have been
established since 1996. There is a federal law which limits
the size of national monuments to "the smallest area compatible
with the proper care and management of the objects to be
protected (the 1906 Antiquities Act)". The last two democrat
presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, stood this law on
its ear by establishing vast areas of land in order to block
resource development, such as timber, mining, farming and
ranching. They, in so doing, went against the wishes of the
local citizens, also running an end-around of environmental
review and public comment rules, both required in the public
land-use planning process.
Presidents may also reduce or expand the size of national
monuments; three past presidents have reduced Mount
Olympus, and just before leaving office President Obama
enlarged to nearly double the size of Cascade-Siskiyou
National Monument in Oregon just to impose further
restrictions on commercial timber harvesting. Such acts
are one reason for the tough times our country's lumber
industry is undergoing.
Here, President Trump has a golden opportunity to advance his
two-pronged agenda of growing the economy and shrinking
the size and scope of the federal government. After listening
to the concerns of the local stakeholders who have been
elbowed aside by liberal presidents he can return to them the power
to determine the best use of these lands to them and promote
greater prosperity in the process. Your hopeful Peasant believes
that the president will follow through, given his course which
he has set for himself and his administration. Now that would
be power to the people!