Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Interior boss, other top federal land officials unveil plans for big meeting Saturday about Bears Ears

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and the undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture, Robert Bonnie, will host a public meeting in Bluff on Saturday to examine various proposals to preserve and manage lands around southeastern Utah's Bears Ears region. The two Obama administration officials will be joined by the directors of the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service as well as top leaders of the Forest Service and Indian Affairs. All are expected to tour the Bears Ears area that tribal leaders and environmentalists want protected from development. The group will also meet with county officials and land managers. The public hearing, set for 1 to 4 p.m. at the Bluff Community Center, is billed as a "Community Meeting on Utah Conservation Priorities." Two members of Utah's all-Republican congressional delegation, Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, plan to unveil long-awaited legislation this week that would preserve some sensitive and cultural areas in the region while also opening other acreage to mineral development. Several tribal leaders, however, have abandoned that proposal and are urging President Barack Obama to name more than 1.8 million acres of the region as a national monument.  Salt Lake Tribune

It's a done deal.  They're drafting the proclamation in the White House as we speak.  Can you name a place where she conducted a "hearing'' and it wasn't followed by the designation of a National Monument?  The only slim chance Utah has to escape this debacle is the hard work of Rob Bishop.  Will Obama defer to the Utah delegation and the local citizens?  I doubt it.  Bishop will need to add a new section to his legislation that removes the monument.

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