Today the news finally made it to the national papers (it's been reported in the Salt Lake Tribune for several days) that President Trump is to sign an executive order tomorrow directing the Interior Secretary to give recommendations regarding every national monument created since 1996 - the year Grand Staircase National Monument was created by then President Bill Clinton. The principal focus is, of course, on Bears Ears National Monument given that Secretary Zinke is to report back in 45 days with a course of action regarding that newest monument. Scott Groene, SUWA's Executive Director called the move an opening salvo. Surely, this is long shot for those who would wish to see these designated lands stripped of their special status. However, there seems to be enough energy here to really do some damage to these places.
There is the sense of history repeating itself. When the Glen Canyon Dam was first brought online in 1962, Edward Abbey decried the idiocy of the destruction of one of the most valuable Indigenous places in the Southwest and certainly one of the most aesthetically pleasing in order to deliver water to suburbanites in Phoenix so that they could keep their Bermuda grass green, year round. And here we are again half a century later with the same inane politicians whose eyes are "hypnotized by desk calculators". I continually find it astonishing that white LDS men in this state find federal land ownership so abhorrent. I'm not sure I entirely buy the argument that bastards like Robert Bishop are bought entities. Instead, I think they are heartless bastards who, like insulted children on the playground, project their hatred onto the nearest thing at hand, in this case, two monuments created by a black man and a Southern philanderer.
I suppose that if either monument were to be altered, it would mean a return to, at least, the worldview of the Monkey Wrench Gang. Yes, violence begets violence. And yet. Grand Staircase is dearer to me than I can possibly indicate in writing. I will fight vigorously for it remaining the way it is. This much is true: the bastards will never take my imagination and they can not take nor diminish my resolve to win.