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Former BLM Head Blasts Monuments

Former BLM Head Blasts Monuments
May 17
14:17 2017

Testifying before a U.S. House committee, the head of the Bureau of Land Management in the last Bush administration blasted national monuments for harming local economies and communities’ way of life.

Kathleen Clarke, who now directs the Utah Public Lands Coordinating Office, told the committee, “Monuments have had significant and negative impacts on the traditional uses of these lands and on the lives and livelihoods of local populations.” She went on to add, “Landscapes don’t disappear, but jobs do.”

Clarke’s position contradicts the findings of two recent studies into the effects of monument creation.

Utah State University determined monuments have little to no effect on local economies. After studying the 21-year-old Grand Staircase National Monument, Headwaters Economics found an increase in jobs and per capita income in municipalities that are monument neighbors.

The future of Grand Staircase, Bears Ears, and other national monuments are currently up in the air as the Trump Administration looks to strip some areas of national monument designation.

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