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Mohave County official blasts plans for expanded national monuments

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A Mojave County supervisor Wednesday said a proposed new national monument in northern Arizona would “destroy the economic growth potential” of the region and cause more than what he called “impoverished poverty”. He said there would be nothing left.

“In the face of an uncertain future with international powers like China and Russia, is it really wise to permanently block known American natural resources?” Mr. Lingenfelter asked: his testimony Submitted to the House Subcommittee on Natural Resources.

But proponents said the national monument not only protects important environmental and archaeological sites, it could generate business for the area in which it is located.

New Mexico Public Lands Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richards told the commission that, in her own experience, the designation of a national monument represents an “injection of life” into an economy “depending on its visits and taxes.” Told.

Their comments were published by the Surveillance Investigations Subcommittee. hearing About the Biden administration’s “efforts to limit access to public lands.”

President Joe Biden in March He ordered the construction of a new 506,814-acre national monument in southern Nevada. The Avikwaame (Spirit Mountain) area was set aside for archaeological and ecological purposes and to preserve lands held sacred by his twelve tribes in the area.

monument It was enacted under the Antiquities Act of 1906. This act allows the president to protect lands of archaeological, maritime, cultural, environmental, or geological significance. The use of this law to create such memorials is often controversial as it allows for unilateral actions by presidents.

In April, environmentalists and tribal leaders called on Biden to use the law again, this time to protect more. 1.1 million acres Located in northern Arizona. The proposed Baji Nwabjo Ita Kukveni National Monument will encircle the Grand Canyon. Proponents say a new monument is needed to protect the Grand Canyon from contamination from uranium mining.

Rep. Raul Grijalva of Tucson, who supports the construction of the new Arizona monument, said the cushioning “has dominated the extractive industries, the fossil fuels, the mining industries, and the decisions that these industries make.” He said it was to create a “balance in the landscape”. About the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and its land use. It’s the balance you need.”

Grijalva said at Wednesday’s hearing that the Bhaji Nwabjo Itaha Kukveni proposal was “a direct by-product of the toxic legacy that uranium mining has left on these regions” and that it “would have a negative impact on polluted water, land and health.” impact” and disease.

But Lingenfelter said there was no need to designate a new memorial if the government had other means to stop mining in northern Arizona.

“If the federal government is trying to stop uranium mining, there is no need to designate a new national monument to deny permission. I have.”

Republican Bullhead City Rep. Paul Gossar said it was the House’s duty to stop the federal government from “looking for ways to gradually limit access to our land.”

“It’s a bit like an old frog in boiling water. At first, he’s just sitting in cold water,” said subcommittee chair Gosar. “There is nothing to see here, just a small monument designation.

“Unknowingly, frogs are boiling, and Americans have access to nearly all federal lands for permitted activities such as hunting, herding, snowmobiling, logging, mining, and oil and gas leasing. I lost access to the ,” he said.

Lingenfelter said Arizona already has 18 national monuments, the most of any state in the country. Many places that began as national monuments, like Grand He Canyon and Zion, were also transitioned to national parks by legislation of Congress.

Adding a new memorial would do more harm than good to communities like Colorado City, Centennial Park and Canebed, he said.

“Communities will suffer the unintended consequences of designating yet another national monument in their backyards,” Lingenfelter told the subcommittee.

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