I had the privilege of riding through some amazing landscapes last year in Utah. It is easily one of the most beautiful states I have ever visited. This week, Donald Trump confirmed his plans in reducing the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.
The Antiquities Act, enacted in 1906, has mostly been used since then to turn public land into national monuments protected forever from commercial exploitation and greed. The Act doesn’t change how the land is used at the time of declaration but it does prevent from further leasing. Congress is well within it’s authority to reduce acreage under the constitution; Trump also isn’t the first to shrink a monument. but it doesn’t make it right.
An overwhelming majority of Americans support protected lands for future generations. It’s not confirmed, but based on the huge pile of flaming human garbage that Donald Trump is, it can be assumed that the land in jeopardy of being opened back up is open for mining, drilling amongst other development. No more antiquities protection = new leases on development allowed. Who would benefit? Well, let’s just tick off a few: Agriculture, mining, manufacturing and petroleum to just name a few. The bulk of Utah’s income coming from livestock and the agriculture to provide for the livestock. It’s not news that livestock contributes to INSANE amounts of environmental destruction. Is it safe to assume that further expansion for these industries is pressure to eliminate protection? some resources (like the BLM website) note this as a positive thing (and that everyone concerned had an opportunity to voice their side), although everything about it is unsettling.
I understand that people need to make money. I understand that people need to put food on the table. But every day is just another day where I put my face in my hands, debate on crying from frustration and wonder when we’ll wake up. Why are we putting business and profit in front of people? We’re not going to have a planet if we keep going like this. I read in Yvon Chouinard’s book, “Let My People Go Surfing” that by the year 2050 we’re be operating at a 300-500% above the carrying capacity of our planet to renew itself. Basically, the planet is going to be dead within some of our fucking lifetimes. We’re expanding population-wise and using our resources like there -IS- no tomorrow.
If you truly want to “Make America Great Again,” let’s just focus on making it great for the first time. For everyone and every aspect. Not just white, straight, senile republican males afraid of a progressing population questioning the status quo. Reacting to worldly things like this are overwhelming. You can’t save everyone and everything and IT’S OKAY. If you want to help prevent this stale floor Cheeto of a president getting his tiny, greedy hands on public lands, think globally and act locally. Start at home and trust the ripple effect. Sign petitions, go to meetings, tell everyone you know. I’m currently compiling a resource of where to go for online and in-person activism for myself and others. in the meantime, read about the allowances of Antiquities Act here: http://bit.ly/AA1906info