Listen to Speaker Greg Hughes on the Rod Arquette Show on 2/8/17 discussing the outdoor retailers show, state management of lands and other 2017 General Session updates.
So I stood there in front of the San Juan County, county building on Main Street in Monticello and the crowds, it was a work day and the crowds of people that came and this was a diverse crowd of people who came to protest and to say that the encumbrance of this land and the suggestion that this community who had grown up in this area could not or would not be good stewards of the land. It was not only offensive to this community. It was emotional to them and I don’t know as a suburb guy who is a suburbanite, who doesn’t live in rural Utah. I don’t know had I not been there at that rally and heard these different people Native Americans, the mom and pop owner of a store, I mean you just any part of a small little towns life those people were rallying together. If I hadn’t seen that and heard that I don’t know that I would have the conviction I have right now that this idea that by decree thousands of miles away you can somehow better manage or take care of land that the people of the land and of that community wouldn’t do themselves.
It would be, it’s tragic and the one image because you know pictures are worth a thousand words, the one image that I thought just put a bow on this about the disconnect that we’re seeing from those and I’ll even give a maybe well intentioned, those that wouldn’t come or this land through a federal designation of a monument versus the people of this community. Is that when President Obama sent out the tweet and announced to the world that he was creating this national monument, the photo he used was of Arches National Park. If that doesn’t let you know that there’s a disconnect going on, I don’t know what will and that would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
That monument as I’ve talked to our attorney general’s office is one of the most prescriptive and prohibitive monuments that we have seen. It seeks to protect things like dead silence and Natural habitat that’s not unique necessarily to that area, Open Skies, that is an overstep, that is not those are not the objects in an Antiquities Act that you’ve ever seen, attempted to be protected before and it is a great overstep and that’s why today I am calling for and we will be pushing for, the new Trump administration to rescind this national monument, entirely (applause). You know we’ve seen this before. We’ve seen this movie an outgoing president or designating a monument. Utah has become the A.T.M. for political payback for special interest groups on your way out the door. It shouldn’t happen here and let me tell you if you’re standing on a main street in a small town well we have the obligation to tell our constituents and what Utah to share with the rest of the country is the federal government can impact the lives of these people in a small town on Main Street in our community. It can happen anywhere and we need to be on guard for that and we need to be careful about that.