Sunday, August 27, 2017

National Monuments May Shrink

This rock art is in Bears Ears National Monument, one of the sites that is
likely going to shrink so that it can be used for economic purposes by private
organizations and individuals. The main reason that many of the monuments
that are under review for shrinking were created in the first place was to
preserve Native American cultural resources. A horrible amount of looting
of grave goods and other materials has occurred in many of the areas that will
soon be up for leasing for private use. To many in the region, the shrinking
of the monuments is a significant environmental justice issue and part
of a pattern of racial discrimination. Click for photo credit. 
Last week there were a number of reports that several national monuments that were under review by the present administration were going to shrink in size. According to Reuters, this "...cheered energy, mining, ranching and timber advocates..."

I think what some in the public get wrong about the national monuments is that they think that they are created from private land. This is not the case. They are created from public land typically under management by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The BLM leases some of the land that it manages to private organizations and individuals including those involved with ranching, energy, mining, and timber production. When the BLM land becomes a national monument, the leases end and land is typically converted into solely public use, often under management by a different agency. Those who have been against the creation of the national monuments are angry because they can no longer rent public land at a cheap cost for their own economic gain.

To see my latest posts on the national monuments, click here.


As an aside, posting on this blog has been a little light lately because I am trying to finish off a large book project. More on that project another time. Also, I tend to get relatively light blog traffic in late summer as everyone is enjoying summer and the out of doors.

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