Thursday, February 04, 2016

Ranchers Worried About Grand Canyon Monument Proposals

Parks said the Native Americans and environmentalists behind the monument proposals are misinterpreting the 1906 Antiquities Act.  “The original intent is to set aside a piece of land that will protect the artifacts but with the minimum amount of land around it to actually keep it within a protected status,” Parks said. Parks said 1.7 million acres is asking too much, when Arizona already has the most monuments of any other state. A monument designation does not mean grazing is automatically prohibited. But some monuments have shut out ranching. But Parks said the militia group in Oregon who took over a national refuge to protest federal overreach isn’t helping their cause. “Standing outside the government building with a sign, that’s fine,” Parks said. “But they should not have broken a law.” We’ve arrived at Diana Kessler’s home, where her family has been ranching for over a century. They have permits to graze their cattle on state and Forest Service land.  Kessler has fought with the Forest Service over management practices for years. “People are so frustrated and not being heard that they’re going to any lengths,” Kessler said. “And you wonder why young people aren’t going into agriculture or this kind of business. Why would you? Why would you want to fight that much and lose?” There are two monument proposals. Both would set aside 1.7 million acres of land north and south of the park. The Center for Biological Diversity has pushed President Obama to proclaim a national monument that would protect the watershed from new uranium mining claims. The center’s public lands campaigner Katie Davis said mining isn’t the only concern. “A number of issues that we’ve seen with grazing include erosion, which can lead to water pollution; disruption of natural fire processes; as well as displacement of native wildlife,” Davis said. The second monument proposal comes from Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva. He said a monument does not initially affect existing and historic uses of the land. “But it does set a template down about an overall preservation and restoration for the canyon,” Grijalva said...more

2 comments:

marvin frisbey said...

“A number of issues that we’ve seen with grazing include erosion, which can lead to water pollution; disruption of natural fire processes; as well as displacement of native wildlife,” Davis said. As she looks at one of the worst cases of erosion in the world.

Frank DuBois said...

lol, and you're right.