In a bold rebuke of Utah’s entire congressional delegation, President Obama seized nearly 1.35 million acres of land in southeastern Utah to create the Bears Ears Monument in San Juan County, Utah, this week. Obama also claimed 300,000 acres in Clark County, Nev., as the Gold Butte National Monument.
For months, Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah (A, 100%), and Congressmen Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah (C, 76%) and Rob Bishop, R-Utah (D, 65%) were vocal in their opposition to President Obama unilaterally designating over a million acres of their state’s land as a national monument, without any input from any elected officials.
“He’s doing this despite open opposition from every elected official from San Juan County … and with the open opposition of all six members of Utah’s congressional delegation, and with the open opposition of every statewide elected official in the state of Utah,” Senator Lee said on Facebook Live shortly after President Obama’s announcement.
Rep. Chaffetz pointed out that the White House announcement of the Bears Ears land grab unwittingly showcases a picture of Arches National Park, which is a completely separate area.
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) December 29, 2016
The combined seizure of 1.65 million acres in Utah and Nevada this week means that President Obama has seized 553 million acres under the 1906 Antiquities Act. But Obama has seized more land and water than any other American president for the federal government — ever.
Sen. Lee, Rep. Chaffetz, and Rep. Bishop are vowing to fight Obama’s Bears Ears National Monument designation in Congress and with the Trump administration next year.
“If there’s one thing we learned about the 2016 election cycle, it’s that the American people are tired of having things simply dictated to them from people in Washington, D.C.,” said Sen. Lee on Wednesday, stating the top-down government control over the American people is nothing less than “chilling.”
Editor’s note: The headline of this piece has been updated to reflect the 300,000 acres of land also seized for the Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada.
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Maria Jeffrey is a correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTJeffrey.