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Mar 15, 2018 | by William Perry Pendley

When it was announced it was the most outsized match since Goliath the Philistine champion sneered in contempt at the ruddy-faced David, the shepherd boy. But the main-stream media, as usual, missed it. How?

After all, a who’s who of the most powerful organizations on the planet along with a billion-dollar corporation filed a host of federal lawsuits targeting three tiny rural counties in an isolated and remote corner of a western state and the media piled on the praise. Part of the reason was the lawsuits were against Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, and reporters (what one pundit calls “Democrats with bylines”) love every lawsuit, regardless of legal merit, filed against President Trump. Another reason was the lawsuits challenged President Trump’s change to two monuments created (illegally say most experts) by Presidents Clinton and Obama, both media darlings.

There is no excusing, however, the failure of the media to reveal the real target of the lawsuit, that is, some of the hardest working, poorest, and longest suffering descendants of some of the nation’s oldest families: the men, women, and children of Garfield, Kane, and San Juan Counties. To all of them, the lawsuits demand they stop ranching and farming, logging and mining, searching for sources of energy, and recreating on the vast, wide- open federal lands they and their ancestors have used, in complete and full compliance with federal law, for many generations.

And what are they to do instead? Pump gas, pull espressos, and fluff duvets or otherwise serve the tourists who never come. Even if they came, as third-generation logger Bruce Vincent said when a similar disaster befell his tiny town, “You have to sell a lot of t-shirts to replace a job in the mill.”

Just who are these Goliaths that so denigrate rural Americans?

The Natural Resources Defense Council, as of 2015, nearly three years ago, had revenue of $130 million and assets of three times that amount.  The Sierra Club the same year raised nearly $110 million with assets of $82 million. The same year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation raised nearly $52 million and boasted assets of nearly $296 million. Who knows how much they are worth today? All totaled, they and the groups allied with them in the lawsuits against the people of rural Utah raised $390 million for the latest year available and bragged of assets of more than $855 million.
At the head of the parade is the most admirable, self-made, billionaire owner of Patagonia, a self-described “dirtbag” who once spent over 200 nights a year sleeping outdoors. Sadly, he thinks all should live his lifestyle.

As outrageous as is the demand by the multi-millionaire environmental groups and the billionaire ascetic for the future of the families of rural Utah is the legal holding they want federal courts to adopt. According to them:

“No president’s actions may be reversed by a future president!”

It sounds like The Ten Commandments when Pharaoh shouts: "So let it be written. So let it be done." But presidents—no matter how exalted by the media—are not pharaohs; nothing is written in stone—even our beloved Constitution can be amended; and, all illegal acts are meant to be rectified.

President Trump was right to review past uses of the Antiquities Act of 1906, to see if they met congressional intent to protect “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest,” such as, “interesting relics [‘ruins’] of prehistoric times” that are “scattered throughout the Southwest [on] public lands.” He also sought to ensure the land in the monuments was “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”

No one was surprised that the review ordered by President Trump concluded that both President Clinton and President Obama grossly violated the Antiquities Act; after all, both presidents openly thumbed their noses at the law in their pursuit of an “environmental legacy” and in kowtowing to the demands of radical environmental groups. Nowhere were their actions more shameful than in Utah where they turned deaf ears on the pleas of Utahns.

Clinton, with the 1.9 million acres Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Garfield and Kane Counties—Utah’s two poorest counties, killed one of the world’s best low-sulfur coal deposits—mining it would create 1,000 local jobs and generate $20 million annually. He lied to Utah’s leaders—but not Robert Redford—about his plan until he announced it at Arizona’s Grand Canyon; meanwhile in Kanab, Utah, he was being hanged in effigy. Likewise, Obama, in a belated Christmas gift to Leonardo DiCaprio and other radical environmentalists, thumbed his nose at Utahns with his 1.35 million–acre Bears Ears National Monument in neighboring San Juan County.

President Trump’s orders bringing the two decrees in full compliance with federal law was absolutely the right thing to do; after all, he has a duty to ensure laws are faithfully executed. He had to act to restore the rule of law. Moreover, it was the right thing to do for the people of rural Utah. That he has the legal authority to do so is beyond question.

Nonetheless, rich environmental groups will fight all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. That is why MSLF is representing the people of rural Utah to ensure justice is done. Please join MSLF in this epic battle for freedom and for the rights of rural Americans.