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President Trump returns federally seized land to Utah

By David Drudge (California Network)
12/5/2017 (4 months ago)
Catholic Online (

State will be permitted to decide how to use the land.

President Trump has reversed a federal land seizure from the people of the state of Utah, allowing them to decide how best to use the land in their state. His decisions specifically reduces the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. The state will not be free to decide how to use these lands. 

The land in Utah belongs to the people of Utah, and it should be for them to decide how best to use it. The benefits should go to them, not the federal government in Washington D.C.

The land in Utah belongs to the people of Utah, and it should be for them to decide how best to use it. The benefits should go to them, not the federal government in Washington D.C.


By David Drudge (California Network)
Catholic Online (
12/5/2017 (4 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Trump, Utah, monuments, federal, park

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Everyone loves national parks, but there is nothing in the United States Constitution that calls for the U.S. Federal Government to establish a system of national parks and to seize land from states and private citizens, banning all but the most limited use of it. 

Instead, this is a decision that is justly left to the states and the people who live in these places. 

In accord with this simple philosophy, a philosophy that once made this nation a paragon of freedom, President Trump has reduced the size of two national monuments in Utah. 

The Bears Ear National Monument will be reduced from 1.3 million acres to 228,000, which is still enough size to preserve its most remarkable attractions. Likewise, the Grand Staircase will be reduced from 1.9 million acres to one million. 

As he returned their land, President Trump underscored his philosophy by telling the people of Utah, "No one values the splendor of Utah more than you do." 

Both monuments were established by Democrats over a century ago, seizing land from the people of Utah for federal use. More than two dozen national monuments have been created by presidential decrees since the 1990s. Grand Staircase was created by the Clinton administration, and Bears Ear was established by President Obama. 

The problem with these parks is they deprive people of jobs and development opportunities that would otherwise be available to them. Most people agree that the natural beauty of these places ought to be preserved, but preservation does not always require the banning of management and development. Oil can be extracted from deep beneath the surface using a single well that draws oil from multiple directions. Once the extraction is complete, the area around the well can be restored. Structures can be built to blend in and to conform to the environment. And certainly, land can be set aside as a natural preserve, with limits on the number of people and activities permitted. 

President Trump isn't acting out against national monuments. He is acting in favor of the states and the freedom of their people to decide if the land ought to be preserved or developed.

Development does not always contradict with preservation. In fact, the federal government often develops land for its own ends, permitting drilling activities, grazing, as well as military use. And why should the federal government be entitled to the benefits of tourism that should otherwise belong to the state where the park is situated? 

The only difference after yesterday's announcement is that the state of Utah and its people will get to decide and will enjoy the benefits of the land instead of the federal government.

The decision has been challenged in the courts by several environmental groups. 



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