I oppose the move
With the stroke of a pen, Obama used the Antiquities Act today to declare 1.3 million acres of Utah land as the Bears Ears National Monument. He did this against the will of the majority of Utahns and as a gross continuation of his administration's federal overreach into the rights and affairs of the states. I oppose this move and will join my colleagues in doing whatever we can to help overturn it.
The Antiquities act was passed in 1906. Teddy Roosevelt created Utah's first national monument in 1908 - Natural Bridges National Monument. Ironically, this wonderful site sits at the foot of the Bears Ears buttes. The total acreage of the monument is 7,636 acres - far short of its new sister monument of 1.3 million acres. The monument is well kept, has wonderful sites to enjoy, and is one of the darkest places on earth at night.
I am not opposed to the appropriate use of the Antiquities Act to help preserve national treasures such as Natural Bridges and other similar sites - though I believe the states (Utah) can do it better and more efficiently than the federal government. I am opposed to the misguided use of the act for political purposes that defy all logic.
Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes said today in a statement, "Our democratic republic is designed to be most effective and accountable when major decisions are made closest to the people but President Obama has chosen to circumvent all democratic processes and lock up nearly one and a half million acres of land from use based solely on ideological principles."
I agree. I took these photos last summer on my way to the Grand Canyon. Jeepin' under the stars of what is now the new Bears Ears National Monument.
A. Cory Maloy
A. Cory Maloy (R) was elected to the Utah House of Representatives for District 6 on Nov. 8, 2016