LaBoyteaux 2020-National Monuments/Travel Ban

A president should not undo National Monuments which previous presidents have tried to preserve. Congress can do this in the event of a true resource crisis. But the country is not facing an energy shortage. In fact, the United States has become a net exporter of oil and gas, essentially energy independent.

The public lands are not actually owned by the Federal Government but are held in trust for the benefit of all Americans. Anyone can visit and appreciate these places to recreate and enjoy the wide open spaces. National Monuments are not only about history and artifacts, they are also often units of the National Park System.

These places need to be viewed in the context and uses of all public lands, approximtely 600 million acres, which are managed following the general principle of “multiple use”. Timber harvest, mineral , oil and gas extraction, grazing, wildlife conservation, recreation, unique landscapes, history and artifacts are all part of public lands management, but not all uses on every acre.

Placing 5-10 percent of the public lands in a preserved status is not excessive. National Monuments are not just about a collection of things but also the importance of places in our national identity.

In other news this week the Supreme Court has upheld the travel ban on seven majority muslim countries.  I’m not sure of the Court’s reasoning here but it is clear to me that terrorists can come from a lot of places other than these seven countries.  I can’t get past the hateful things that have been said and tweeted.  Our safety depends on very thorough vetting of everyone who wants to enter the United States.  We do not need to call out anyone by race, religion or national origin.




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