When it comes to defending their state against federal land grabs, Utah's congressional delegation talks a good game. But they're really wimps.
Sure, Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, joined by Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, have introduced the Utah Lands Sovereignty Act that would prevent new national monument designations in the Beehive State unless approved by Congress.
But that legislation only deals with future nefarious land grabs by presidents trying to exercise their dictatorial authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act. What about all those earlier land grabs, the ones by Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton? They run the gamut from small monuments (Natural Bridges, Hovenweep, Rainbow Bridge, Mukuntuweap, Timpanogos Cave) to big monuments (Grand Staircase-Escalante in Hatch's words the "mother of all land grabs") to big monuments that evolved into some of the nation's premier national parks (Zion, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef).