For some environmental activist groups, the best way to protect the land is to not use it at all. These same activist groups love what President Barack Obama has been up to in his final moments as our nation’s elected top gun.
Under the Antiquities Act (signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt), presidents have the authority to designate national monuments without the consent of Congress. Obama’s total to date? 550 million acres.
His most recent move was the expansion of the Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which includes 42,000 acres of public and privately-owned land on the Oregon/California border.
In the name of environmental stewardship, Obama’s designations are nothing more than the largest federal land grab in our nation’s history.
READ: Here’s every piece of land Obama has put under protection in his presidency
So what’s the true underlying problem? It’s putting ranchers out of business. It’s removing cattle grazing, which is beneficial to the land in terms of wildfire management and soil aeration and improvement. It will be extremely costly to taxpayers as the government now must support the land. And it kills important industries like agriculture, timber and energy by eliminating jobs and limiting America’s ability to produce consumer goods.
Enough is enough.
In a recent press release, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is urging Congress to swiftly pass legislation introduced last week by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that would curtail similar abuses in the future. Murkowski chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
“Once again, President Obama made a unilateral decision to lock off thousands of acres without appropriate environmental or economic assessment,” said Ethan Lane, executive director of the Public Lands Council (PLC) and NCBA federal lands. “This decision will permanently alter a community and potentially put at least five ranching families out of business. This continued abuse of the Antiquities Act speaks to the need of permanent reform – no administration should have such unchecked authority to destroy a community.”
According to the NCBA release, “These designations often come with overreaching and restrictive management provisions in the name of environmental protections. President Obama has taken full advantage of his executive power, using the Antiquities Act more than any other president before him and locking up millions of acres.”
READ: With new monuments in Nevada, Utah, Obama adds to his environmental legacy
We need to get on the phone and urge our elected officials in Washington D.C. to pass Murkowski's bill, Improved National Monument Designation Process Act, without delay.
This bill, if passed, “would require Congressional and state approval for the designation of any new monument, bringing the reform needed to curtail the on-going abuse of the Antiquities Act.”
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.