Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Trump urged to abolish national monuments, including 2 in NM
A congressman from a bordering state is calling on President-elect Donald Trump to abolish national monuments created during the Obama and Clinton administrations, an idea that could threaten two newly created monuments in New Mexico.
Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, head of the House National Resources Committee, is getting push-back from conservation groups and some in the New Mexico congressional delegation for his suggestion that Trump could take back monuments preserving public lands from California to Maine.
Obama designated the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in Taos County and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in southern New Mexico.
Doing away with national monuments created by presidential proclamation under the 110-year-old Antiquities Act has never been done, but also has never been legally tested. The act was passed in 1906 during the Republican administration of President Theodore Roosevelt, an early leader in the conservation movement.
“If any administration thinks they’re going to start divesting us of a hundred-year history of lands that belong to every American, they’re going to have to do it over my dead body,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich.
Heinrich was joined in his condemnation of Bishop’s idea by New Mexico Democrats U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján. But U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico’s only Republican member of Congress, pointed out this week that he had introduced legislation to protect 60,000 acres of the Organ Mountains, as opposed to the 496,000 acres Obama set aside.
“The Antiquities Act requires that a President designate the smallest possible footprint in order to achieve the desired environmental preservation. American’s have witnessed the Obama Administration disregard that part of the law,” Pearce said in a written statement to the Journal. He called on Trump to review the Organ Mountains designation and others around the country, reducing their footprint “to an acreage supported by existing federal law.” He added, “Additionally, Congress should work with President Trump in the years to come on changing the designation process – so that no future President may unilaterally restrict lands from the people. These decisions must be made in Congress.”...more