Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Local officials concerned about Monument issue

Some local officials have been left confused and upset by a document leaked Thursday from the Bureau of Land Management, which lists the Vermillion Basin as a potential site for “special management or congressional designation.” In response to the leaked information, the Moffat County Commission approved a letter to be sent to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at its Tuesday meeting. The letter, drafted by Jeff Comstock, director of the Moffat County Natural Resources Department, said the commission is “deeply discouraged” by the potential designation. Local officials are concerned they were not involved in any decisions regarding local land. “What is most offensive is an executive order telling you how to manage your land,” Comstock said. “Involve your local people before you start doing a ‘top-down’ approach.” Opponents of potential designation contend that the Antiquities Act could be used to designate the 77,000-acre area a national monument. Such a decision likely would limit public access and use of the land. “I’m pretty upset over this,” Moffat County commissioner Tom Mathers said. “You’ve got someone in upper government saying ‘this is what we think we need’ without consulting the people that it affects. It’s wrong and not democratic.” more

COMMENT: It may not be democratic, but it's damn sure Democratic.

1 comment:

Leroy McGee said...

Presidents, including President George W. Bush and several other Republicans, have been using the antiquities act since its inception to protect areas of supreme national importance. This is not something used solely by Democrats. Implying so is disingenous and not based on facts.

Besides, this "proposal" isn't a proposal at all. This is a draft document looking at all the areas around the West where a monument might, stress "might", work. The document says pretty clearly that further work must be done to assess public and congressional support for any designation prior to moving forward. That, my friend, is democratic.