For the second time in two months, the editorial board of Utah’s newspaper of record, the Salt Lake Tribune, has written that President Obama should use his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate a Bears Ears National Monument without delay:
The alternative to a national monument, the Public Lands Initiative pushed by Utah Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, has still not been formally introduced. Even if it were to be put before Congress, provisions such as concessions to oil and gas development and grants to the state of a long list of phony roadways make the bill a non-starter.
Obama, looking both at his own legacy and the political calculations that might help another Democrat succeed him, is likely to announce the Bears Ears designation soon. Perhaps even before the election.
The squalid squabbling that’s been going on in Utah suggests he will be right to do so.