Environmental Politics, Think
Environews: Senator Lee’s anti-monument bill
Utah Senator Mike Lee (R) has introduced a bill offensively named the PURE Act (it stands for of Protect Utah’s Rural Economy), a bill to prevent future protection of Utah’s federal public lands. The bill does not, in fact, address Utah’s rural economy, but rather requires that establishing or expanding National Monuments in Utah would require both an Act of Congress and approval from the Utah Legislature.
Meanwhile, San Juan County has launched a tourism promotion using the disingenuous slogan “Make it Monumental,” referencing Bears Ears National Monument dismantled by the Trump administration.
San Juan County government vigorously opposed monument designation, in part because they claimed that it would harm economic development (except that it will apparently also draw visitors and attract businesses to the area). The Utah Office of Tourism is likewise promoting travel to both “Bears Ears National Monument” and “Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument” even though they were both dismantled by President Trump in 2017.