Tallying The Economic Impact Of Our National Monuments

May 19, 2017

With guest host Tom Gjelten.

Our National Monuments are under review — why does it matter?

Mojave Trails, Vermilion Cliffs, Katahdin Woods, Bears Eyes. In all, at least ten million acres, sacred to Native Americans or treasured by backpackers. Also coveted by ranchers, loggers, and miners. The land now under federal protection as part of the national monument system. But President Trump is reconsidering. Local officials don’t like the feds controlling their terrain. This hour On Point, a battle over the national monument lands.


Rebecca Leber, reporter for Mother Jones, covering climate, environment and energy politics. (@rebleber)

Lindsay Downing, owner of the Mt. Chase Lodge in Patten, ME, near the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. She proposed this program as part of our 2017 National Listening Tour.

Dan Hartinger, National Monuments campaign manager for the Wilderness Society. (@dantiquities)

Rep. Ken Ivory (R), Republican state representative for the state of Utah’s 47th District. (@kenivoryut)

Sen. Angus King (I-ME), Independent U.S. Senator from Maine. Former governor of Maine. (@SenAngusKing)

From The Reading List

Mother Jones:Should Trump Eliminate These Beautiful National Monuments? Here’s Your Chance to Weigh In. — “Up to 27 national monuments could be at risk as the Trump administration embarks on an unprecedented endeavor to roll back protections for public lands. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in late April asking the Department of Interior to give him recommendations for which monuments he should target. All of the monuments potentially on the chopping block are larger than 100,000 acres and were created after 1996—a date chosen to include the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument that’s unpopular among some Utah residents.”

Bangdor Daily News: It’s time for Katahdin region to decide how to grow alongside the monument — “While the National Park Service is currently in the first stages of the management planning process, it is already making improvements to infrastructure on the monument land. Simultaneously, community leaders throughout the towns bordering the monument are trying to wrap their heads around the possibilities and challenges this monument brings. And small businesses, such as ours, are struggling with decisions about investment and growth.”

Salt Lake Tribune: Some urge more public input as Bears Ears’ fate looms — “Following a four-day tour of San Juan County by his Interior chief Sally Jewell last July, President Barack Obama designated Bears Ears under the Antiquities Act. For the first time in the law’s 111-year history, a president is now considering rescinding or shrinking monuments designated by his predecessors under the Act. Legal scholars argue the courts won’t uphold a monument revocation not approved by Congress, while the Pacific Legal Foundation produced a study concluding the Act indeed gives presidents such authority.”

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