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, December 09, 2016
New monuments defended
President Obama’s “careful use” of federal law in designating two national monuments in New Mexico likely would withstand any attempt by President-elect Trump to abolish them, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said Thursday. Jewell defended Obama’s decision to designate the 496,000-acre Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in southern New Mexico as “an area that warrants protection” because of historical and tribal significance.
Obama also designated the 243,000-acre Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in Taos County under the 110-year-old Antiquities Act, which allows presidents to create monuments by presidential proclamation.
Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, head of the House Committee on Natural Resources, has criticized Obama’s designation of 28 national monuments as an excessive use of power and has called on Trump to trim or abolish some monuments. No president has undone monument designations made by a previous president, “so it has not been legally tested,” Jewell said after touring the Sky City Community School, an Acoma Pueblo elementary school.
“We do believe that the process that we’ve gone through, and the careful use of the Antiquities Act by President Obama, will stand the test of time,” said Jewell, whose tenure will end when Trump is inaugurated Jan. 20.
The Antiquities Act has been used by 16 presidents since it was passed in 1906, Jewell said.
“I think this is an important tool that most presidents would not choose to give up or to modify, but I can’t speculate on what might happen next,” she said. New Mexico Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, and Rep. Ben Ray Luján, all Democrats, have said they will defend the monuments from any attempts to abolish them.
But Rep. Steve Pearce, the state’s only Republican member of Congress, has said the size of the Organ Mountains monument should be reduced. He previously sought a 60,000-acre monument.
Jewell planned to visit Las Cruces today, where she is expected to seek public support for the Organ Mountains monument...more