Our nation is at a crossing point. There are the big oil, mineral, and corporate interests supported by Republican legislators. Then, there are those who value the environment and their quality of life the most, they tend to be the Democratic legislators.
Take the ancient Ancestral Puebloan Indian settlements at Bear Ears National Monument in Utah. Rather than leave the sacred grounds for others, some tourists and looters steal the ceramic shards. For some reason, there are those who even deface the ancient rock art.
Donald Trump is one of the biggest takers in history. He stole the land for mineral interests. Now, President Joe Biden by executive order will protect the 1.36 million park acres. This will protect a “slightly larger boundary than President Barack Obama established in 2016,” according to The Washington Post.
President Biden will also “restore the 1.78 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante monument,” according to a statement from the White House late Thursday. In addition, he will:
‘[R]eimpose fishing restrictions in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England that Trump had opened to commercial fishing.’
Biden will use his authority given to him under the 1906 Antiquities Act to sign the proclamations on Friday:
‘By restoring these national monuments, which were significantly cut back during the previous administration, President Biden is fulfilling a key promise and upholding the longstanding principle that America’s national parks, monuments, and other protected areas are to be protected for all time and for all people.’
Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition leaders sent President Biden a letter that requested “immediate action” to protect the monument last month. It also said that “real harm, much permanent, is occurring on this sacred landscape.”
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) and other Utah officials disagreed. They released a statement that read:
‘President Biden’s decision to expand the monuments is disappointing, though not surprising. For the past 10 months, we have consistently offered to work with the Biden Administration on a permanent, legislative solution, one that would end the perpetual enlarging and shrinking of these monuments and bring certainty to their management.’
‘Our goal has been to make lasting progress on managing our public lands for the benefit of all those who use them, particularly those who live on and near those lands.’
The slice of the Atlantic Ocean has “tremendous biological diversity.” This will protect not only tuna, sharks, and whales, but deep-sea coral among other species, according to The New York Times.
Senior Research Scientist at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, Peter Auster, applauded this decision, saying:
‘It has submarine canyons as deep as the Grand Canyon and undersea mountains taller than any east of the Rockies. [It is] going to allow nature to play out in the absence of significant human disturbances.’
And there were other detractors of Biden’s decision such as Saving Seafood, a seafood industry advocacy group, represented by Bob Vanasse:
‘There is no scientific justification to prohibit commercial fishing while allowing recreational fishing,” he said. “While the Biden-Harris Administration has claimed decisions will be based on science, and not on who has the stronger lobby, this decision shows otherwise.’
Biden had campaigned on rolling back Trump’s changes to Bears Ears and other monuments. Tribal activists and conservationists had become quite frustrated that the president had not yet acted. In June, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to serve in that role, suggested POTUS “restore protections to the monuments.”
Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) called the president’s move a “devastating blow.” Conversely, the tribes that make up the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition consider the area sacred. These include “the Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Hopi Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe, and Pueblo of Zuni.”
President Biden will restore “protections to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.” These include about 5,000 square miles off Cape Cod, Massachusetts:
‘The White House said that commercial fishing will be prohibited and fishing for red crab and American lobster will be phased out by September 2023. Recreational fishing will continue.’
Another campaign promise fulfilled.
Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads her week’s most important news/ commentary stories in the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery. Find her here on Facebook.