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Thomas Gallatin / Dec. 5, 2017

Trump Reverses Democrat Land Grabs

It's an issue of federalism, and the president did the right thing with national monuments in Utah.

The Left loves to reference “power to the people,” but they never mean what they say they mean. Rather it’s a call for greater power and control being given over to government elites; a call to authoritarianism. This leftist sentiment has been on full display since President Donald Trump’s announcement Monday authorizing the scaling back of two “national monuments” in Utah, reversing federal land grabs by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Bowing to the environmentalist lobby and Native American groups, Clinton and Obama used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to massively expand the Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, located in southeastern Utah. These federal land grabs, totaling over two million acres, have long riled Utah residents, who see this as an example of rule by Washington elites who have little understanding or consideration of local issues. And, by the way, The Daily Signal notes, “Trump’s decision to relabel 2 million acres sounds like a lot until you realize that the Obama administration set aside 554 million acres .”

In announcing his decision, Trump expressed the feelings of the locals, stating, “Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They’re wrong. The families and communities of Utah know and love this land the best and you know the best how to take care of your land.”

Ironically, environmentalist groups and companies sought to paint Trump’s action as exactly the opposite. The Patagonia company asserted on its website, “The President Stole Your Land,” while REI bemoaned the “loss of acres of protected lands.” Talk about your reverse spin.

What Trump did do was to restore states’ rights, recreational opportunities of outdoor enthusiasts and land usage rights for ranchers and land owners. The land will now revert back to public land regulated by the state of Utah, not a bunch of Washington bureaucrats beholden to the wishes of special interest lobbyists and their dollars.

(Updated.)

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