Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fightin' words: National monuments

Fightin' words: National monuments
Utah Republicans cite Clinton-era move as reason to be wary
Image: Canyons in San Rafael Swell
The San Rafael Swell, a remote area of narrow slot canyons, shifting sand dunes, sculpted rock and miles of roadless expanse, is at the center of a land debate in Utah.
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Bureau of Land Management

updated 6:33 p.m. ET, Tues., Feb. 23, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY - The possibility of new national monuments is stoking fears and generating resentment in Utah and other energy-rich states that could see millions of acres of federal land made off-limits to development.

An internal U.S. Department of the Interior document lists 17 sites in 11 states that could be designated as national monuments through the federal Antiquities Act. Most of that land is already managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management.

The Antiquities Act gives presidents the authority to designate monuments without congressional approval. The Interior Department insists the document is a product of brainstorming and nothing more.


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