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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Daily Combover - April 25, 2017

Normally the Combover focuses on an event that has already transpired. But today we're going to look at something that's coming... tomorrow.

You see, tomorrow Trump plans on signing his 53rd order, one that will review the designations under the Antiquities Act. Translated into English, that means he will be empowering Interior Secretary Zinke to review and subsequently recommend that Trump "undeclare" National Monuments.

This, following shortly after Zinke rebooted coal leasing programs and the GOP announced plans to target the Endangered Species Act.  One thing is for sure, the GOP appears to be attacking nature just for the sake of it.

Today at 5:11PM, Zinke was introduced by Spicey to talk a little about the order:
SECRETARY ZINKE:  So I'll read this and then I'll answer some questions.  Tomorrow, the President will come to the Department of Interior, to my office, and sign the executive order to review the Antiquities Act.  The executive order will direct me, as the Secretary, to review prior monument designations and to suggest legislative changes or modifications to the monuments.  The monument designation period stretches from 1 January 1996 under which the act -- and it has to include acts and monuments that are 100,000 acres or more -- so the beginning date is January 1st, 1996, and the other condition is they have to be a total of 100,000 acres or more.  That should include about 24 to 40 monuments.  That gives you kind of a thumbnail.  
Two of the most recent monuments (named by President Obama) are Bears Ears and Gold Butte. Both contain lands and structures sacred to Native Americans and therefore have been targets of Republican attacks and white nationalist militia outrage since President Obama named them monuments.

And, of course, the public wants monuments left alone:
Recent polls have shown strong support for national parks and monuments, said Christy Goldfuss, who directed the White House Council on Environmental Quality under Obama.
Kristina Waggoner, vice president of the Boulder-Escalante Chamber of Commerce in Utah, said business near the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument in southern Utah are booming, driven by sharp increases in tourism since the area was designated in 1996 by President Bill Clinton.
"I'm here today to support the monument and my 3-year-old son," Waggoner said on a conference call with reporters organized by a pro-Obama group. "Once our land is gone, it's gone forever."
The pristine view from Gold Butte

But unpopularity hasn't stopped Trump yet and it's not likely to stop him now. Continuing with Zinke's presser:
The executive order directs the Interior to provide an interim report to the President within 45 days of the day of the order and a final report to the President within 120 days of that order.  
For the record, in the last 20 years, in particular, that would cover about, oh, tens of millions of acres to include marine area sanctuaries.  Some of these areas were put off limits for traditional uses, like farming, ranching, timber harvest, mining, oil and gas exploration, fishing, and motorized recreation.  
That's very true, but as we just read, what they lost in resource excavation, they gained in tourism.

Zinke concluded with a summary:
So here’s what the executive order does in summary.  It restores the trust between local communities in Washington that the local communities and states will have a voice -- those states that are affected, and local communities.  The executive order puts America and the Department of Interior back on track to manage our federal lands in accordance with traditional multiple use, as laid out by Pinchot and the President, and directs the Department of Interior to make recommendations to the President on whether a monument should be rescinded, resized, modified in order to better manage our federal lands.  And this executive order gives rural communities across America, again, a voice, as his campaign promised and is delivering that.
Here’s what the executive order does not do.  The executive order does not strip any monument of a designation.  The executive order does not loosen any environmental or conservation regulation on any land or marine areas.  It is a review of the last 20 years, and the review has timelines in which I am obligated to uphold.
I'll give them one thing, they are really good as messaging. From Zinke's description this sounds like this is just standard practice, long overdue. But in reality, Gifford Pinchot's legacy is about to be strip mined to satisfy the GOP's quest to defile nature.

Daily Combover reminds you to never be fooled by anyone in the Trump Regime. They are all monsters in their own right.

Catch you on the flip side.