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Republicans demand list of possible monument sites.

Nearly three dozen Republican lawmakers yesterday asked Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to disclose which areas of the country she is considering for national monument designations.

The letter to Jewell spearheaded by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Reps. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) comes weeks after Jewell announced in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., that President Obama will use his executive authority to designate monuments if Congress fails to act (E&ENews PM, Oct. 31).

Read the Article here:  http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059990427

Sally Jewell Reverses Position on National Monument Designations

As the Obama Administration’s credibility sinks to new lows, Department of Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell, has made some headlines recently after she announced that she was going to advise the president to bypass Congress to create new national monuments.  Since we now know that the Obama administration cannot be trusted it is hard to say if Sally Jewell was misleading the hardcore environmentalists that made up the audience of her announcement.  It is probably more likely that she was misleading Senator Mike Lee, when she committed to him during her confirmation hearing that the Obama Administration wouldn’t designate any new national monuments without significant support from local stakeholders.

 

Read the article on The Petroglyph here: http://thepetroglyph.com/sally-jewell-reverses-position-on-national-monument-designations/

Lee, Hatch Respond to Administration’s Last-Minute Delay of Nearly 100,000 Acres in Utah for Energy Leasing

November 15, 2013

WASHINGTON – Today, Utah Senators Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch responded to the announcement by the Bureau of Land Management that it will be deferring nearly 100,000 acres from the proposed oil and gas lease auction on Tuesday, November 19. The BLM announcement that it will reduce the land available at auction by nearly 70% comes just days before sale was scheduled; once again proving the administration’s repeated promises of transparency and open communication are empty.

“At a time when the State of Utah, local counties, and Utah’s federal delegation are participating in a large scale initiative to resolve many long-standing public land issues, this last-minute bait and switch only reinforces the widespread belief that, under this Administration, BLM is becoming a vehicle for policies created by radical environmentalists,” said Senator Lee.  “This bureaucratic maneuvering does more than hurt the companies that were ready, willing, and able to participate in Tuesday’s auction.  It discourages companies from participating in future auctions, and perhaps ever investing in states that are dominated by federal land ownership. The cumulative impact of this and other similar actions serves to drive investment away from the families and communities that live near lands managed by the federal government. In order to thrive, these communities need a good faith partner in the BLM.”

“This misguided announcement by the Bureau of Land Management to defer the leasing of 100,000 acres for energy production because of pressure from environmental elites ironically comes on the heels of news last month that the United States produced more oil than it imported,” said Hatch. “The fact that our nation is a global leader in energy production seems lost on the President and his Administration who’s doing everything to stop that from happening. This hurts American jobs and American energy independence and must stop.”

Link: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=6cac954c-f345-4e1f-b8b9-b0ac71547db1

Salt Lake Tribune story with some backround: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57134298-78/blm-utah-auction-decision.html.csp

 

 

Interior Secretary Recommends Bypassing Congress on Monuments

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says she will recommend that President Obama act alone if necessary to create new national monuments and sidestep a gridlocked Congress that has failed to address dozens of public lands bills.

Jewell said the logjam on Capitol Hill has created a conservation backlog, and she warned that the Obama administration would not “hold its breath forever” waiting for lawmakers to act.

Read the LA Times article here  http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-interior-secretary-jewell-20131112,0,5444176.story#axzz2kRVRBI94

Federal judge rules no off-road vehicles on Richfield BLM lands

SALT LAKE CITY — A coalition of conservation groups is hailing a federal judge’s ruling Monday to strike down portions of the Richfield Bureau of Land Management plan they said gave deference to off-road vehicles at the expense of the environment.

Read the article here: http://www.ksl.com/?sid=27506972&nid=148&title=federal-judge-rules-no-off-road-vehicles-on-richfield-blm-lands&fm=home_page&s_cid=queue-9

Senator Tom Coburn calls out the National Park Service

Senator Tom Coburn calls on the Park Service to stop acquiring new parks and expanding existing ones, use those funds to maintain existing parks.

A report released Tuesday by Coburn’s office finds the National Park Service devotes huge portions of its budget to the purchase of more and more federal properties and land, even while the country’s most treasured national parks are falling into disrepair and neglect.
A report released Tuesday by Coburn’s office finds the National Park Service devotes huge portions of its budget to the purchase of more and more federal properties and land, even while the country’s most treasured national parks are falling into disrepair and neglect.

His report documents a federal agency that is top heavy with bureaucracy and management, but badly mangles its spending priorities.

Read the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/30/coburn-attacks-national-park-service-for-wasteful-spending-while-parks-fall/

A Tale of Two Parks

In 2010, Arizona announced it would have to close Red Rock State Park near Sedona due to budget shortfalls. Despite collecting nearly $300,000 a year in admissions fees, the park needed hundreds of thousands of dollars to meet its operating costs—money the state did not have. The park also had a growing maintenance backlog, as years of budget shortfalls forced park staff to skip critical repairs.
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Next door, the U.S. Forest Service owns Crescent Moon Ranch, a nearly identical public park with similar facilities, visitation, and revenues. The fee revenue at this park, however, not only keeps the park fully maintained, it adds more than $60,000 to the local Forest Service recreation budget—all without requiring tax money to operate. – See more at: http://perc.org/articles/tale-two-parks#sthash.mUOXQO7S.dpuf
Read the rest of the article on perc.org here http://perc.org/articles/tale-two-parks

Final Reminder to Attend Tonight’s Bishop/Chaffetz Land Use Open House Meeting!

It’s important that you attend tonight and make your voice heard!

The San Juan County meeting will be held at 5:00 PM tonight at the San Juan County Building in Monticello.

The Grand County meeting will be held at 7:30 PM at the Grand Center 182 N 500 W, in Moab.

 

Reliable sources have informed us that the local chapter of the Sierra Club sent out emails urging the membership to attend the meeting but asked them not to use Facebook and other social media to spread the word, because they do not want YOU to know about it!

Bill Introduced that Takes Aim at Sue And Settle EAJA Abuse

H.R. 2919: Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act, takes aim at EAJA abuse by environmental groups by providing more transparency.

To amend titles 5 and 28, United States Code, to require annual reports to Congress on, and the maintenance of databases on, awards of fees and other expenses to prevailing parties in certain administrative proceedings and court cases to which the United States is a party, and for other purposes.

Call or write your representatives and tell them you support this bill!

Read the text of the bill here: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2919/text

Is Congressman Bishop’s Grand Bargain D.O.A?

Ashley Korenblat, a major player for the environmentalist side of the table has just doubled down on National Monuments.

Ashley Korenblat, the owner of the Moab tour company Western Spirit Cycling, said on a conference call organized by the Center for American Progress that the blueprint offered by the groups zeroes in on the fact that making a living off the land doesn’t mean harming it.

“It’s particularly important because it reflects the new reality that land in its natural state has economic value,” Korenblat said. “We need to shift this debate away from the false choice that [it’s] either resource extraction or land protection.”

Rep. Rob Bishop, a Utah Republican who chairs the House Natural Resources subcommittee over public lands, notes that environmental groups often forget to mention that there are more than 450 million acres of federal land with a protective designation, while just 38 million are leased for oil and gas production.

“Conservation and energy development can coexist in our country,” Bishop said, noting there are areas that should be utilized for their oil and gas resources but also areas protected as scenic landscapes and recreation spots.

The policies suggested by the report would duplicate existing environmental reviews and further tax businesses trying to help revive the economy, said Bishop.

The Utahn is pushing an initiative, known as the “grand bargain,” to bring together environmentalists, energy executives and local and state leaders to find a

Facepalm

(Photo credit: Suzanne Hamilton)

compromise to the contention over public lands. That, he says, is a “better way” to address land-use policies.

But most of us on this side of the table saw this coming, didn’t we?  It’s not our first rodeo.

Read the Article here:  http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/56699188-90/obama-groups-lands-energy.html.csp