Saturday, April 29, 2017

Trump's monument order raises questions of presidential overreach

“There’s more to this decision than meets the eye,” Missoula-based Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Conservation Director John Gale said in an email. “Neither sportsmen nor other public lands users would stand in the way of an objective attempt to ensure the integrity of recent monument designations. Yet the administration’s announcement could create unintended consequences that jeopardize important fish and wildlife habitat on public lands and invite unproductive dialogues that distract us from enhancing management of our public lands and waters.”...more

They wouldn't stand in the way of an "objective" review, but the mere announcement by Trump jeopardizes wildlife habitat? The review will cause "unproductive dialogues"? Sounds to me like they don't want the light of day shown on some of these designations. Abuses discovered might lead to legislation, so let's don't talk about it.  

Indiana University environmental law professor Robert Fischman noted that the Antiquities Act gives a president the power to designate a national monument, but stands silent on disestablishment. So while Trump can order reviews of borders and management, he said only Congress has authority to erase a monument. “I think what is happening here is that President Trump wants to make a big show of ordering a review (for which he needs no executive order) to appease opponents of monuments and parks,” Fischman wrote in an email. “Then, he can do nothing but make some suggestions to Congress. Revoking monument designations would undermine much of Trump’s popular support. “Congress has altered and disestablished parks,” Fischman continued. “The presidents have altered monument boundaries. None were done with the kind of fanfare we are seeing today. I think that suggests that Trump is acting for the fanfare and not for the disestablishment/revocation agenda.”

Fischman thinks this is all a "big show" done for fanfare and in the end, Trump will only make some recommendations to Congress. Fischman just can't bring himself to believe this President might actually diminish some National Monuments. Hell, I could hardly believe it myself! But I don't believe the "fanfare" is just throwing meat to the " disestablishment/revocation" types. No sir. I think a blow against executive branch overreach is about to be struck.

1 comment:

Joane Pappas White said...

As an attorney who watched Obama ignore every single requirement for local input on monument designation, I am cheering for Trump and Zinke to study the reasons for monument designations that violated almost unanimous local and tribal opposition while pandering to extremist so-called environmentalist nonprofits that support Agenda 21.