Obama Admin. Reiterates Threat to Bypass Congress on Monument Designations

November 8, 2013
By
JEWELL:  "If Congress doesn't step up to act to protect some of these important places that have been identified by communities and people throughout the country, then the president will take action"

JEWELL: “If Congress doesn’t step up to act to protect some of these important places… then the president will take action”

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration’s declaration that they intend to bypass Congress and the public to designate new national monuments is expected to create problems that would unduly affect the success of the conservative efforts.

“If you don’t have that collaborative process up front, you can create conflict that is very counterproductive,” said former Interior Secretary Gale Norton in an interview this week after a meeting of the Conservation Leadership Council, a group she helped create to address environmental and energy issues.

“I think it’s important to have a process where the people affected can be involved,” Norton said. “That includes Congress playing a role.”

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the strategy during a speech last week, which she said would prevent future energy development including oil, gas, and mining on public lands.

“If Congress doesn’t step up to act to protect some of these important places that have been identified by communities and people throughout the country, then the president will take action,” Jewell said at the National Press Club speech.

“There’s no question that if Congress doesn’t act, we will,” Jewell said.

According to a senior Capitol Hill staffer, some of the targets under discussion in the Obama administration are located in Utah and New Mexico.

In addition, Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall has proposed creating the Browns Canyon National Park that would designate 22,000 acres of land as a monument and an additional 10,000 acres as a new wilderness area in the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area.

The president has the authority to designate national monuments without congressional approval under the Antiquities Act of 1906, an action that has created controversy especially during the Clinton administration when the Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah was created without local input.

Norton said that when she was secretary of the Interior Department during the Bush administration, monument designation was considered but that it was a collaborative process that included the input of local officials as well as Congress.

“That can be very disruptive if you don’t have the support of the people in the local communities,” Norton said.

“And if you don’t have Congress involved, you don’t have funding,” Norton said.

The administration’s announcement came just days before Sen. Tom Coburn, released a new report that revealed the National Park Service spends nearly $530 million every year to purchase more private land to add to the Interior Department’s inventory.

With the federal government’s debt topping $17 trillion, the Oklahoma Republican said the agency should focus its funding priorities on the monuments and parks already in the system.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

One Response to Obama Admin. Reiterates Threat to Bypass Congress on Monument Designations

  1. Bob Terry
    November 8, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Sure why not !!! Obama flits from agenda to agenda crisis to crisis and flies off for another Obama lecture The US Forest Service and the National Parks service CANNOT take care of what they are delegated too. Sally Jewel another bureaucratic
    Yes woman ..Let’s rule by fiat and executive order …Obama way or Obama Highway …Okay I am sick of Obama lectures …Obama ( King’s X ) promises and apologies … He is SCREWING YOU and ME how many more blinders do we have to put on to approve of I don’t know nor do I care of crap leadership and Government?? And Colorado Udall Bennett Polis and most high Princess Dianna De Gette are so far up his A$$ fresh air would be taxed … We need to get rid of these losers … but the liberal Democrat public …Dianna etc are dealing out the ration of methane

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