Legislative: Hearing on H.R. 4558

Federal Lands Date: Thursday, December 14, 2017 Time: 09:30 AM Location: Longworth House Office Building 1334

LEGISLATIVE HEARING ON:

  • H.R. 4558 (Rep. Chris Stewart), To provide greater conservation, recreation, economic development and local management of Federal lands in Garfield and Kane Counties, Utah. “Grand Staircase Escalante Enhancement Act

DEMOCRATIC TOPLINE MESSAGES:

  • H.R. 4558 abolishes the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument established by President Clinton and replaces it with three new monuments and a national park.
  • The immediate introduction and swift committee consideration of H.R. 4558 confirms that the Utah delegation wants to rush this bill through Congress to shield it from agency review and invalidate legal claims against President Trump’s dissolution of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. This demonstrates clear lack of confidence in the legality of the President's decision.
  • The Utah delegation should have introduced legislation to redo Grand Staircase Escalante at the beginning of the 114th Congress – or any other time over the last 20 years – rather than encourage Secretary Zinke’s sham review and President Trump’s illegal proclamation. Instead, the committee is rushing to consider a barely introduced bill without comment from the either of the relevant federal land management agencies.
  • H.R. 4558 establishes a management council, primarily made up of state and county government officials. This is a giveaway - handing over the management of federal land to local government officials undermines the federal government’s ability to manage these resources on behalf of all Americans.
  • Efforts to redraw and greatly reduce the boundaries of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument ignore the fact that most Utahans support the original designation. A Pew Charitable Trust poll found that over 50% view the designation as a good thing for the state.

Witnesses

Panel I

  1. The Honorable Chris Stewart
    Member of Congress
    Utah's 2nd District

Panel II

  1. The Honorable Mike Leavitt
    Former Governor
    State of Utah
  2. The Honorable Leland Pollock
    Commission Chairperson
    Garfield County, Utah
  3. Vicki Varela
    Managing Director
    Utah Office of Tourism, Film, and Global Branding
  4. Susan Hand
    General Manager
    Willow Canyon Outdoor, Kanab, Utah