Home > newsroom > Page
Despite Broad Opposition, President Obama Proclaims National Monuments in Utah and Nevada


WASHINGTON, D.C., December 28, 2016 -

Today, President Obama used the Antiquities Act to unilaterally declare Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada. President Obama has abused the Antiquities Act to designate more national monuments and lock away more acreage than any other U.S. President in history. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement:  

“Utah is saddened by this announcement today. It is alien to the desires of the overwhelming majority of Utahns. It’s also alien to the desires of the overwhelming number of Native Americans who live in this area, who will use this area, who approached us on how they wanted to function on this land. None of those desires are going to be accomplished by a monument designation.

“It is sad that there are special interest groups that feel that they are empowered, that feel that they can get the President to bend to their every will. Unfortunately, with today’s announcement, maybe there is some truth to that.

“Mr. President, I want you to know that we are saddened by this abuse of the Antiquities Act. It is sad that this entire process has been done in secrecy and in shadows. And Mr. President, I want you to know as Utahns, we will use every tool at our disposal to do the right thing—whether it be legislative action, judicial action, even executive action—because what we have seen so far is a poor procedure. It’s a poor policy and it reflects poorly on your legacy. As Utahns, we will fight to right this wrong.”

Chairman Bishop added:

“The announcement perpetuates two egregious lies. The first being that the size of the monument parallels the Public Lands Initiative. That is not true. The administration is grasping at arguments to justify a lame duck administration’s efforts to do things contrary to the will of the people who live in San Juan County. The second lie is in the creation of a faux commission to give management authority to Native Americans. This is a diversion. The Utah delegation wants to give management authority to Native Americans; the administration can’t. Only Congress can legally do so. This administration over-promised, failed to deliver, and is now trying to hide its ineptitude.”



Background:

The Committee held a legislative hearing on H.R. 5780 (Rep. Bishop), the “Utah Public Lands Initiative,” on September 14, 2016 and passed the bill on September 22, 2016. H.R. 5780 provides greater conservation, recreation, economic development and local management of federal lands in Utah. It was developed through a transparent public process that included 1,200 meetings, 50 field trips and several hearings across Utah, garnering broad stakeholder input and local support.

Support:

Click here to view a one-page summary of H.R. 5780.

Click here to view more information on H.R. 5780.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

Latest News

Skyrocketing Deferred Maintenance Backlog Demands Immediate Answers

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) led a letter to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary ...... Read more

Westerman Slams Biden for Killing Offshore Leases, Increasing Gas Prices

Last night, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced it will no longer hold court-ordered offshore oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. House Committee on Natural Resources R...... Read more

Committee Republicans Seek Answers on 30x30 Slush Fund

Washington - Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) led a letter to Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Brenda Mallory, requesting further inform...... Read more

View All News