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Aug 10

Written by: cindilue2
8/10/2016 11:21 AM  RssIcon




                                                      RESOLUTION NO. 2016-10


TITLE:                                   Bears Ears National Monument Opposition


PURPOSE:                            A Resolution Opposing a Bears Ears National Monument.


WHEREAS, Monticello City Council believes that local plans should be paramount in consideration of Federal actions; and 

WHEREAS, Monticello City is in such close proximity to the proposed designation that the impact of the Bears Ears National Monument will be significant to the citizens, the water system, and the quality of life; and 

WHEREAS, The Utah State Commission on the stewardship of Public Lands has passed a resolution supported by the National Association of Counties (NACO) prohibiting the Presidential Designation of the proposed Bears Ears National Monument;  

NOW, THEREFORE, the Monticello City Council resolves to hereby oppose a Bears Ears National Monument Designation for the following reasons:

When used with consideration of local interests, the Antiquities Act is a viable tool in the hands of the President of the United States. Currently, however, a host of Wilderness Advocacy groups have proposed a 1.9 million acre National Monument in San Juan County Utah. On July 16, 2016, Secretary of the interior, Sally Jewell and others, held a meeting in Bluff Utah to hear opinions from the local people to whom a National Monument would have the greatest effect. Special interest groups organized buses to bring people from as far away as Texas. They provided food, transportation, lodging, and T-shirts to anyone who would come and speak in favor of the designation. These same groups have organized petitions, gaming more than 100,000 responses nationwide in support of the designation. Most of those who were bussed into Bluff Utah did not know where the Bears Ears area was located. They did not know that San Juan County was already home to Natural Bridges National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument, Canyonlands National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation area, Dark Canyon Wilderness Area, Grand Gulch Wilderness Area, and more than 400,000 acres of Wilderness Study area. In a County with only 8% private property, the access to public lands is vital to the economic and social welfare of the residents of the County. Schools, roads, hospitals, and other basic necessities of the County are contemplated and understood by local elected officials. They are in the best position to identify threats and solutions for their citizens, but more importantly, a cornerstone of our society is a representative from of government. Current federal law requires coordination with local County plans and with local County elected representatives. Sadly, there has been no coordination with local plans, in fact, this imminent monument designation comes against the unanimous opposition of city, county, and state officials.  

Monticello City Council opposes the unilateral and unwarranted Presidential designation of a monument, a monument which is also opposed by the local elected officials and the U.S. delegation of Utah Congressional Representatives.  

Existing federal and State land-use laws and regulations provide adequate protection for broad landscapes. Most of these laws were not on the books when the Antiquities Act was passed. The Antiquities Act was intended to protect specific features which were under immediate treat. The intent of this law was never to be used as a landscape management tool. Representative Government is essential in deciding how best to use and protect the shared resources provided by public land.

The Federal government and the Counties have a common interest in public lands and how they are used. Special interest groups have a much narrower objective which does not take into account the real needs of counties and the people who reside there. Unfortunately, these groups attempt to “hijack” the process, create or exaggerate supposed threats, and then pressure the administration to take actions which are not based on fact but on a metaphor. Policy decisions influenced by these tactics will certainly have a much different outcome than the one intended.  

Additional, a National Monument Designation would bring more traffic to the same area these groups propose to protect. The very tool they have identified to provide supposed protection is the tool that will cause a much greater impact on the region. The monument designation has been and continues to be “sold” to the administration as a tool for protection, when in fact it has significant political undertones which should never be allowed to drive a decision with such magnitude.   

Monticello City Council supports the Utah State Commission on the Stewardship of Public Lands and the National Association of Counties resolution prohibiting the Presidential Designation of the proposed Bears Ears National Monument, and suggests land-use decisions of this magnitude be completed through the representative process. 

PASSED and ADOPTED by the Monticello City Council this 9th day of August, 2016. 

/s/Tim Young, Mayor


ATTEST: /s/Cindi Holyoak, Recorder


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