This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
President Barack Obama designated a new national monument Wednesday against the wishes of Rep. Rob Bishop, who held hearings in an attempt to muster opposition to the move.
No, it wasn't southern Utah's Bears Ears.
It was the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine made possible by a donation of 87,500 acres of woodlands from business tycoon and philanthropist Roxanne Quimby and her family.
They offered the land on the premise it would be preserved and protected as a national monument, a deal that rankled Bishop, head of the House National Resources Committee.
The Utah Republican was a prominent opponent of the monument, along with Maine Gov. Paul LePage.
Bishop showed skepticism about the proposed gift earlier this year, stating it would harm Maine residents, even though the landowners could keep out Maine residents already if they so desired.
For his part, LePage has threatened to bulldoze paths right up to the boundaries of the land if it became a monument.
Bishop's disapproval gained the attention of the Center for Western Priorities, which said the monument designation reaffirms two bedrock American principles: Private property rights along with the of parks and public lands that "are core to our national identity."
"But like the robber barons of yesteryear who opposed parks at the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone," the center added, "Rep. Rob Bishop and his fellow conservation opponents remain on the wrong side of history."
It's come to this • Jim Bennett is a descendant of a long line of established Utah Republicans, the most prominent being his grandfather, Wallace Bennett, and his father, Bob Bennett, who respectively served four and three terms in the U.S. Senate.
Jim Bennett was active in his dad's campaigns and proudly displayed his conservative beliefs and his GOP credentials. But things began to get wobbly when the tea party movement dumped his popular father in the 2010 Utah Republican Convention, even though the senator's high approval ratings among the general public suggested he would have coasted to re-election.
The son couldn't support the party's eventual nominee, Mike Lee, so he switched to the Democratic candidate, Sam Granato, an act seen as apostasy by some Republican die-hards.
Lee won and is now a senator with a low approval rating.
Jim Bennett's rebellion tarnished his image in the GOP, although he remained a stalwart conservative in his blogs, Facebook offerings and op-ed writings.
Then, earlier this year, he announced he was leaving the Republican fold because he couldn't be in a party that nominated Donald Trump for president.
Now, he has made one more move. He revealed on his Facebook page that he is working for Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson and will be ghost-writing op-ed pieces for the candidate.
So what's next for Jim? Ben McAdams for governor in 2020?
Shades of Tim DeChristopher? • On Saturday at the Salt Lake County Fair, the junior livestock auction was interrupted by some bogus bidders.
It was during the auction of the lambs that the sham took place.
The highest-quality lambs were auctioned off first, bringing the best prices, up to $2,000. As the auction continued, the lower-quality lambs would go on the block, fetching much less, until the event came to the bottom of the barrel.
A skinny little lamb was showcased and the bidding, which was expected to peak at around $400, began. It continued past $400, then past $800 and up to $1,000. People were looking around in amazement. The auctioneer was stunned, and then it jumped to $1,300.
Suddenly, two teenagers bolted out of the arena and the realization hit. They had been hiking up the bid as a joke. The auctioneer had to start over; the lamb went for the more reasonable price of about $400.
A win-win? • The fair's junior livestock program provides an opportunity for the county to do some good.
The county commits about $25,000 a year, which Councilman Jim Bradley takes to the auction to buy some beef, lamb, hogs and such. They are then donated to the Utah Food Bank.
The effort helps the young farmers who raise the livestock and feeds the hungry for the next several months.