Federal law requires our government to consult with Native American tribes about the Bears Ears monument in southern Utah. But Trump is only giving lip service at best to attempts to the Navajo, Hopi and others about what was once the second-largest national monument in the lower 48 states, before Trump shrunk it by 85%.
Now, the general public has less than a week to file public comments on Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s plan that could turn could add more ATV trails and approve cell phone towers and utility lines to what are now two smaller monuments. Bernhardt has appointed an advisory committee that doesn’t include anyone who supported creating the monument in the first place.
“The BLM and the Forest Service are asking people who don’t think the monument should exist for advice on how to manage it,” said Josh Ewing, executive director of Friends of Cedar Mesa.
Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke trimmed Bears Ears from 1.35 million acres to 201,876 acres, eliminating Cedar Mesa with its cliff ruins and rock art. He also took out Grand Gulch, a canyon, and other places that five native American tribes wanted protected when they urged former president Barack Obama to create the monument.
The management plan would allow “chaining,” a practice favored by Utah ranchers to clear land for cattle grazing.
“Bears Ears is not the kind of place for chaining thousands of acres of forest or stringing up utility lines,” said Heidi McIntosh of Earthjustice, one of the parties involved in the Indian tribes’ federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over shrinking Bears Ears.
Bernhardt appointed rancher Gail Johnson who holds a grazing allotment that was entirely within the original monument to a Bears Ears advisory group. Johnson and her husband, Sandy, have intervened in the lawsuits challenging Trump’s shrinking Bears Ears, arguing that a larger monument would put them out of business.
Bernhardt also appointed San Juan County Commissioner Bruce Adams and Ryan Benally,the son of former County Commissioner Rebecca Benally to the panel. San Juan County, the poorest county in Utah, paid $485,600 to a Louisiana law firm to oppose Bears Ears being named a national monument and then to lobby for reducing it.
Bernhardt did not appoint any of the seven people recommended by Rupert Steele, the chairman of the Utah Tribal Leaders Association. Steele’s picks included Navajo medicine man Jonah Yellowman and Kevin Madalena, a paleontologist from the Pueblo of Jemez, N.M.
Longtime Fox News producer: ‘I can’t tell you how unpopular Trump is here’
Does Fox News need President Donald Trump? Or does President Trump need Fox News? If former Fox News strongman and Trump supporter, the late Roger Ailes, were still running the network, those questions might never come up.
But as Trump himself tweeted in June after Fox reported that Trump was trailing five presidential candidates in the polls, “Something weird is going on at Fox News.”
True enough – and Trump seems unable to stop it. And it’s not just that his longtime ally Rupert Murdoch turned the leadership of Fox over to his son Lachlan last year. “I can’t tell you how unpopular Trump is here,” a longtime Fox News producer told DCReport, “and people are getting bolder about saying so.”
Democrats amass a $300 million war chest — to fight each other
The fund-raising appeals are coming fast and furious, now, particularly toward the end of each month as Democratic Party candidates and organizers use a mix of guilt, pride and begging to press for just another $5 or $50 or $500.
We all understand that political campaigns are run on money, and there is a general desire to align some good old-fashioned money appeals with strong political ambitions.
Yet I can’t help thinking each time I try plowing through the increasingly long list of appeals that these candidates don’t get it: I care less about each individual campaign than I do for a strong Democrat to emerge to face Donald Trump in the 2020 election. And, as they make clear themselves, they are using every dollar they collect now to fight with one another for primacy.