Does it really take a million acres of national monuments in Nevada to protect a few artifacts?

President Trump’s signing of an executive order calling for a review of the national monument designations made in the past 20 years prompted the local newspaper to drag out the usual suspects to moan and groan about the need to “protect” the million acres of Nevada land that Obama designated as national monuments in his last months in office.

Trump called Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create monuments an “egregious abuse of federal power.”

“We’re very dismayed,” one of the lock-up-the-land advocates told the local paper. “We worked hard on this for 15 years. I think the issue has been decided.”

Largely decided without any input for local officials and residents.

“Today we’re putting the states back in charge,” Trump said Wednesday.

His Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said his agency will recommend which monuments should be lifted or, perhaps, reduced in size. He also said local feedback will be sought.

Before Obama created with a stroke of his pen the 700,000-acre Basin and Range Monument on the Nye and Lincoln border and the 300,000-acre Gold Butte Monument near Mesquite, he might have asked someone to actually read that 1906 law which gives the president the power to declare land off-limits to productive use for the purpose of protecting “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” on public land. The law also says that the designation “shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”

Does it take a million acres to protect a few petrogylphs and artifacts?

Though the monuments’ backers say the Antiquities Act grants the president power to create monuments but does not grant the power to rescind previous designations, there is legal precedent that states a presidential right to declare implies a presidential right to rescind.

The Wall Street Journal pointed out earlier this year, “In Myers v. United States (1926), the Supreme Court ruled that the president’s power to appoint officials, with the advice and consent of the Senate, includes the power to unilaterally remove them.”

The court said, “The power of removal is an incident of the power to appoint …”

BLM pix



24 comments on “Does it really take a million acres of national monuments in Nevada to protect a few artifacts?

  1. Bob Beers says:

    Everyone, including Trump want to skirt around the core issue in this entire argument, State’s rights and whether or not Federal Parks are even Constitutional. The federalists will point to the “Property Clause” (Article IV, Section 3). “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States….” as being where that power lies. The problem with this and a whole lot of the definitions made by Federal expansionists is the meaning they want is simply not there and is yet another violation of the joint meaning of article 1 and the 10th Amendment. What belongs to the United States, meaning the Federal Government is limited in Article 1, everything else is the states to dispose of. If parks must be, and there is no reason to deny them, then let them be State owned and operated and let the Federal Government go back to acting as if this country is what it was designed to be, a republic.

  2. Article 1 also limits Congress to exercise power “over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State …”

  3. Bill says:

    Bob, I understand your argument, but I am afraid the horse has long been gone from the barn on this issue and will never be retrieved. As for the10th Amendment, you know that it has only recently been discovered be the Progressive Left to even have been in the Constitution.

    Of course, the 10th Amendment has no application to “public lands” or a whole host of other issues but now that it has been discovered to exist by the Left it has clear application to such Federal Laws and Orders relating to immigration and drugs.

    By the way. the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution no longer applies to publicly funded and supported colleges and Universities who are free to condone suppression of “hateful” speech that they disagree with.

  4. deleted says:

    Apparently there are some times when the far right just doesn’t want to consider what the local stakeholders/states say. In fact, not only don’t they care, they will revel in doing precisely the opposite of what they want. Heck, via one of those unconstitutional executive orders at that.

    I fear for our republic.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ah orang ball supporters, lovers of free speech one and all. Conservative to the core.

    I fear for our republic.

  6. Rincon says:


  7. deleted says:

    An thoghts about whether orange mans unconstitutional executive order opening up this pristine coast for oil spills took into consideration the thoughts of the locals I wonder?

  8. Offshore drilling jobs pay well.

  9. deleted says:

    Strange. One administration listened to the local communities, and the republican one doesn’t; but only one was worth a mention here.

    “The Obama administration, in 2016, reversed its 2015 plan to sell oil leases for drilling in the Middle and South Atlantic based on two key issues: Concerns voiced by residents, coastal mayors and municipalities, including several in Delaware and nearby Maryland, and the Pentagon’s worries that offshore drilling could impact operations at the Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia.”

  10. People on the Gulf Coast liked to have jobs.

  11. deleted says:

    People liked clean beaches in Sata Barbara, and seafood in Delaware and Maryland, and clean water and seafood along the Gulf of Mexico.

    Then spills from the offshore wells made that impossible and the people spoke and said “enough”. And most administrations listened.

    And although you skewer the prior administration for it’s supposed failure to pay attention to the locals, you don’t speak out about orange balls disregard of those local voices.

    It’s hypocritical Thomas.

  12. Steve says:

    Depends, Patrick.

    Which local voices are you taking any interest in “hearing”?

  13. Rincon says:

    It seems a safe bet that a majority of Californians are more concerned about their backyard than the welfare of the local extraction industries. They are Californians, remember? But just as Washington doesn’t care about Nevada’s land, now they’re not too concerned about California’s opinion regarding their own coast. If it’s California’s coast, what business is it of the federal government to tell tell them what they can and can’t do with it? Seems that a consistent Conservative would call this federal overreach but hey, California’s not on your team.

  14. Steve says:

    California is more than Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco.

    Gotta wonder what the rest of that state has to say about the coastline…..

  15. Rincon says:

    “The Census Bureau estimates 95 percent of Californians reside in urban areas – the highest nationwide.”

  16. Steve says:

    Yup, California is an excellent case for republic vs democracy….unfortunately, the California “republic” has become a pure democracy. Those urbanites run roughshod over the rurals with wild abandon.

  17. Rincon says:

    If you think the 5% should receive all kinds of compensations from the 95%, then political correctness is for you, my friend.

  18. Steve says:

    “If you think the”

    Is not what I think.

  19. Rincon says:

    Since you used the word unfortunately, one would presume that you don’t like a pure democracy, but you did not specify your preferred alternative. All I know is that you think rural folk each deserve a greater share of the vote than city dwellers. So how should this terrible inequity in California be handled?

  20. Steve says:

    Rurals shouldn’t be subjects (under one’s control or jurisdiction) of the population centers.

  21. Rincon says:

    You won’t answer my question?

  22. Steve says:

    Not my problem if you don’t like the answer.

  23. Rincon says:

    Of course I don’t like the answer. It didn’t address the question.

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