The problem with Bear Ear’s is related to my legislative agenda. It was never the intent of the Antiquities Act to lock up 1.3 million acres, especially without input from those most affective. It was meant to protect 50 acres . . . maybe even 5,000 acres but never to be used as a political weapon or a political trophy. Bear Ears needs to be rescinded and the process should start over for Congressional approval.
Understanding public lands is one of my strengths. I was in Vernal in 2009 when the under-secretary of the interior came after President Obama pulled the 77 oil license. I didn’t have a whole lot of empathy for him but I did fear for his life. I was one of the first Wasatch County legislators that understood that the rural counties are the canary in the mine. They have felt the oppression of the federal government first. We need to heed their warning and help them.
I helped reignite the public lands battle in Utah and helped to inform my fellow Wasatch Front legislators. My bill received national attention (HB 143) which provided Utah a way to fight federal overreach.