Friday, July 29, 2016

Utah Governor calls tribal monument proposal a 'political tomahawk'

Both sides in the Bears Ears fight have called for compromise. But it increasingly looks unlikely they’ll find middle ground following a rowdy U.S. Senate field hearing Wednesday in Blanding. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, hosted the field hearing at San Juan High School. He backs legislation as the best means of conserving eastern Utah’s landscape, traditions and archeology. Lee knocked the Obama Administration for skipping Wednesday’s hearing, as well as the tribal coalition behind the monument proposal. “We hope that the Bears Ears Coalition will reconsider,” he said in an opening statement, “and will meet with us to discuss how best to preserve Bears Ears.” Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, gathered stakeholder input over three years for his Public Lands Initiative, or PLI, and used that as the foundation for the legislation. But critics say it allows too much development and too little protection -- even though the legislation includes national conservation areas. Gov. Gary Herbert praised the PLI for having local buy-in. But, because it relies on the Obama Administration to declare a new national monument that the tribes would help manage, the governor criticized the tribal coalition’s proposal. “If this is not some kind of political tomahawk to be used, no pun intended,” he began, “if this really is about the Bears Ears region, protecting, conserving the land, the PLI is by far the superior way to go about doing it.”...more

No comments: