U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch is wrong to call it a “land grab” when President Obama named a handful of national monuments late in his term. The federal government has owned these lands since our nation was founded. They are just being set aside for extra protection.
It is interesting that the state of Utah, which Sen. Hatch represents, advertises these national monuments on TV every night to entice visitors to the state so they can spend money there. Sure, these lands could be turned over to oil or timber interests and they would then be stripped of their resources in a short period of time. But by keeping them pristine, states can make money from tourism for a thousand years or more.
National monuments not only protect and preserve the natural beauty, but they also protect sacred Native American sites and preserve this irreplaceable history.
Sen. Hatch claims these monuments serve “special interests.” Actually, they serve all the people of the United States plus tourists who come from all over the world.