LAND GRAB: The Bear Ears National Monument is one of the "massive federal land grabs: that President Trump wants to review. Its features include ancient petroglyphs on rock formations.
President Trump today signed an executive order
that could lead to removing protection from hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands declared national monuments.
Trump called the designations a "massive federal land grab." The Bear Ears National Monument
in Utah has stirred some Republican complaints in recent tiems.
Is Trump right again on the popular mood? Can the preservation of glorious pieces of landscape be turned into federal overreach? Or is America's great national treasure — its public land and parks — at last a reach too far for voters? Polls say there is tremendous support for protection of federal lands. A powerful organization of outdoors businesses has expressed alarm about what privatization of land could do to their industry, collectively a bigger business than many other major commercial sectors.
Trump's action concerns acquisitions since 1996, so, for example, the Buffalo National River
is safe. At least from privatization, though perhaps not from coal fumes, hog waste and other elements that Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
and state environmental regulators seem inclined to protect over air and water.