National monuments harm the economy, Utah public lands official tells Congress
Washington • National monument designations in Utah have harmed the economy and way of life for communities abutting them, killing jobs and harming ranchers, the head of Utah's public lands office testified before Congress on Tuesday.
"Any perceived benefits from the designation of huge landscape monuments need to be weighed against the impacts suffered by those who have traditionally used the lands," Kathleen Clarke, the former Bureau of Land Management director and now head of the Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office, told a House Natural Resources subcommittee. "Landscapes don't disappear, but jobs and artifacts do."
Clarke joined a chorus of Republicans in blasting the Antiquities Act, which President Barack Obama used in late December to name the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. She also told the congressional committee that the 1996 designation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has impaired the area's economy.