On April 20, President Obama employed the Antiquities Act to protect nearly 15,000 acres in California with a national monument designation. Neither I nor the organization I represent, Save Our Canyons, generally gets involved with protection of lands thousands of miles from where our interests lie in the Wasatch Range. But what caught our interest was a diatribe posted on Rep. Rob Bishop's website lambasting use of the Antiquities Act by presidents, past and present.
We find it ironic that Bishop, R-Utah, calls for "total transparency and public input" when just a few short months ago he introduced HR 3452 and co-sponsored S 1883 the Wasatch Range Recreational Access Enhancement Act which requires the Forest Service to dispose of pristine inventoried roadless watershed lands without the support of the congressman who represents the area, without the support of the mayors of Salt Lake City and County, without the support of the mayor whose city is congressionally required to manage the area for culinary drinking water of over 600,000 people; and without engaging the public whatsoever in the process.
In the same news release the congressman accused the president of circumventing Congress by utilizing the Antiquities Act. He, Talisker, the Canyons Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort and the other Republican members of the Utah delegation circumvented public processes by introducing HR3452 rather than going through public planning processes (the National Environmental Protection Act and forest planning) or participating in ongoing local discussions concerning our beloved Wasatch Range.