“Rural Americans want what all Americans want: a dignified decent-paying job, a family to love and support, and a healthy community whose future is determined by local residents – not their self-styled betters thousands of miles away,” Sen. Lee said. “That is why I am reintroducing the Protecting Utah’s Rural Economy Act today, a bill that would protect Utah from future abuses under the Antiquities Act…”

As published on U.S. Senator Mike Lee’s website

Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) reintroduced the Protect Utah’s Rural Economy (PURE) Act. The bill would protect Utah from presidential Antiquities Act abuse in much the same way Alaska and Wyoming are currently protected.

“Rural Americans want what all Americans want: a dignified decent-paying job, a family to love and support, and a healthy community whose future is determined by local residents – not their self-styled betters thousands of miles away,” Sen. Lee said. “That is why I am reintroducing the Protecting Utah’s Rural Economy Act today, a bill that would protect Utah from future abuses under the Antiquities Act. The PURE Act would give Utah’s rural communities a real voice in local land management policies, a voice they currently do not have today, by prohibiting the president from establishing or expanding a national monument in Utah unless the proposed monument has been authorized by an act of Congress and the state legislature.” 

“For too long, Washington bureaucrats have dictated to our counties, ranchers, and recreators how and if they can use their lands,” said Senator Romney. “The PURE Act returns the decision-making and management power of our public lands to those closest to the land. I’m proud to sponsor legislation that puts an end to excessive landgrabs and provides rural Utahns a voice in land management.”

Passed in 1906, the Antiquities Act was originally intended to protect objects of historic and cultural interest like artifacts and religious sites. Unfortunately, what was once a narrowly targeted tool for preventing looting on federal lands has become a tool distant elites use against rural Americans. Two states, Alaska and Wyoming, currently enjoy protections from future Antiquities Act designations after millions of acres were restricted in those states.


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Comments

  1. A battle of attrition. My family has approx. a 600 acre ranch in northern Ca. that borders the Soda Mountain Wilderness, that became a monument under the Clinton administration. I have hunted, fished and hiked this land for 30 years and have been a witness to the malfeasance that can be present with these government land grab programs. In this particular case as many the fake news advertises setting aside lands for future generations to enjoy. In my time Soda Mountain Wilderness has gone from a place where we could cut downed trees for fire wood to remove fuel, run open range cattle, camp out and run the roads which in this case the local Stuarts would provide benefits for road maintenance and access. BLM has actively pursued , (in the shadows) pushing wild horses towards private property via cross fencing on migratory trails. There has been little or no maintenance provided for this monument over the years, to a point where they could not enter the monument to fight last years Kalamathon fire, instead CDF had to enter with all there equipment through our privately maintained road from the south. The Northern public access at this point had tank berms, that coupled with the lac of road maintenance would have required weeks of perpetration to gain access to the fire. BLM has requested access through our property for years and we respectfully decline every chance we get. Make no mistake with no motorized vehicles allowed on the monument and its current condition you should be a member of Seal Teem 6 to gain access and enjoy the flora and fauna.
    In the eleventh hour of the Obama administration our government provided an act to enlarge monuments across the United States one of which was Soda Mountain. Our family obtained a map of the proposed expansion with a brilliant green line around many private ranches including part of our’s. We have been contacted by private real estate brokers inquiring about the purchase of our land and adjoining parcels to add to the monument that currently does not have enough funds to maintain.
    In short since the inception of Soda Mountain Monument we have gone from accessible wilderness for the citizens of the United States to a forgotten land that has been shut down by design. The land is now an extreme fire hazard with an uncertain future. Now we can expect BLM to acquire more property and continue to bully small ranchers, homesteader’s and land owners over access, water, development, agriculture, archaeology and natural resources, just to be put away for a rainy day of pillaging.
    In The United States Of America we have the right to defend property, and i suggest we work together as citizens to do exactly that. I am a witness to over time giving an inch can turn into many square miles with very little rights.
    Steve Montgomery

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