Congressman Bishop, you are just dead wrong! Your bill limiting the presidents’ power to use the Antiquities Act to preserve public lands is a thinly veiled effort to keep all options open on federally controlled land ("House passes Bishop’s bill on creating monuments," Tribune, March 26).
The truth is that this is public land. It belongs to me and you, our grandchildren and theirs and all the generations to come. The states have historically been poor stewards of the land and would have drilled, logged, mined or otherwise destroyed treasures that are now permanently part of our heritage.
Yellowstone and more recently Grand Teton national parks would never have happened if the state of Wyoming had had the last word. Alaska’s Denali and other national parks in the state drew the ire of state residents and politicians claiming they could make the best decisions for those lands.
In these cases and so many more the "states rights" folks were pinning their rationale on economic and social development. It all comes down to the dollars and who gets them.
Thank goodness for Theodore Roosevelt and presidents since who have had the extraordinary vision to see that these precious places are preserved for all and forever.
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