Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Heinrich calls monument review a 'land grab'

 In Sunday's Albuquerque Journal, Michael Coleman has a column titled Rift widening between Zinke, NM senators. The primary focus of the column is how Udall & Heinrich disagree with much of what Zinke is doing, in spite of them both having voted for his confirmation.

There were two statements in the column that really grabbed me. The first was by Heinrich:

 “I’m prepared to do anything necessary to protect New Mexico’s national monuments from a Washington, D.C., land grab,” Heinrich said.

That is just hilarious. Sad, but hilarious. Before the monument, most of these lands were managed for multiple use. If necessary, roads could be built. Rights-of ways could be issued. Flood control dams could be constructed, range improvements could be built, geothermal energy could be harvested, sportsmen and recreationists had off-road access to these lands, and so on. Then along came Obama, with the full encouragement of Heinrich, and with the stroke of a pen either prohibited or restricted all of the above. If the monument designation were to be removed, all of those uses would be returned to the people. The review had the possibility of revoking a land grab, not initiating one. Heinrich's attempt to describe it otherwise is laughable.

The other statement in the article, which is not new, is the Senators' concern over accuracy:

Staffers for both senators told me last week that Udall and Heinrich also want Zinke to address errors of fact in the New Mexico sections of the monuments report.

This must be a newfound desire for accuracy, for we didn't hear a peep out of the Senators concerning the many inaccuracies in Obama's proclamation creating the OMDPNM. Dr. Jerry Schickedanz, Dean Emeritus of the CAHE at NMSU and currently with the Linebery Policy Center, has identified many errors in the proclamation, including objects that aren't even within the boundaries of the monument, and other objects that are either wholly or partially on private or state land, and therefore not in the monument. These and other errors could have been addressed during the review process, but by opposing the review, the good Senators apparently do not want those inaccuracies corrected.

Because of the importance of these documents to the local community and to the health of the natural resource, both should corrected. This selective, narrow focus on errors falls short of good public policy and reeks of pure politics. 

1 comment:

twinpine said...

Well said sir!