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Is there a National Monument designation downside?

SedonaEye.com financial columnist J. Rick Normand

SedonaEye.com financial columnist J. Rick Normand addresses the National Monument designation pros and cons in the first of his two part series analysis

Sedona AZ (August 12, 2015)Is there a National Monument designation downside?

You won’t find the answers at the Keep Sedona Beautiful website!

This is what we’re told at the Keep Sedona Beautiful website:

“Incredibly, no permanent protections are in place for this incomparable national treasure.

The Monument will help protect our trails, soils, riparian habitat and watershed. With millions of visitors each year the forest is being loved to death. The environment we all cherish is being used at such high rates that issues such as trail maintenance and protection of riparian habitat are not being accomplished at a level that will preserve these resources.”

This writer, then, must ask…”What moral thinking person could genuinely disagree?”

Nevertheless, just in case and for the benefit of a few skeptics, such as the residents of Durango, Colorado, let’s put these righteous pronouncements to the test!

The targeted 160,000 acres of land that surrounds our uniquely beautiful town is now under the stellar management of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the Department of Agriculture known for its lenient management rules. As a National Monument, our Red Rock Country will be under the absolute unchallengeable CONTROL of the federal government’s National Park Service or the Bureau of Land Management, both agencies of the Department of the Interior, which together manage 104 of a 117 National Monuments subject to the National Conservation Lands Portfolio. Both these agencies are known for their draconian management rules and methods and are notorious for ejecting citizens by force from lands under their control.

How much authority over a National Monument will the NPS or the BLM have? They have total police power through the uniformed and armed National Park Police or corps of BLM Rangers and they can, at will, close a National Monument altogether, or close it only to motorized vehicles, hikers, climbers, campers, runners, photographers, bird watchers, and anyone else they choose to deny access to. And, they have a history of doing this across the west while using military-grade weaponry of lethal firepower and they’re soon to be equipped with all-seeing squadrons of GPS articulated drones (no more privacy in the forest) to find near-harmless miscreants who can be heavily fined. They also have the unchallengeable authority, at their will, to limit access to National Monuments to only certain people, to dictate what activities one may engage in within a Monument, to charge any fee amounts for access that they alone determine to be reasonable, to limit access to only certain sites or trails, and to limit the amount of time a visitor can spend in the Monument or what type of vehicle he/she may drive into the Monument, ad infinitum.

BLM

Arizona has five national monuments: Agua Fria National Monument, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Ironwood Forest National Monument, Sonoran Desert National Monument, and the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

Contemporaneously with the potential Sedona-Verde Valley National Monument designation, and also without local input or Congressional deliberation on the subject, the President has stated he will issue an Executive Order, while ignoring the Antiquities Act, to seize another 1,700,000 acres near the rim of the Grand Canyon but not in the canyon. How clear is it what the true intention is behind the Administration’s strong-arm threat to impose these National Monument designations, of such massive size, in northern Arizona without the input of the residents of northern Arizona (see Part II two days from now)?

If both of these National Monument designations pass, and since Arizona is now 42.3% owned by the Federal Government, nearly half of our state will be owned and controlled by bureaucrats in Washington D.C. while they already own 47.7% of California and a staggering 81.1% of Nevada. We locals will never again have any say in what happens to all this land that we moved here to enjoy. Why is it necessary to fast-track this particular National Monument designation without local input if not for purely political reasons (see Part II)?

The textbook example cited, of which I speak, is the 1996 decision by President Clinton to designate nearly 2,000,000 acres of land in Utah as a national monument. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) said Clinton’s decision to create the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was made without any advance notice, and was announced by Clinton during a pre-election tour of the west (which didn’t even include southern Utah).

As you might expect, from KSB’s standpoint and that of Tom O’Halleran, Ann Kirkpatrick, Angela LeFevre, Jessica Williamson and Rob Adams, all of whom have continuing political ambitions as progressive liberals, there are essentially two alleged justifications for the subject proposed National Monument designation for the Sedona-Verde Valley area, namely, that 1.] the Federal Government is a magnanimous, just, benevolent and reliable steward of our national land and mineral resources as well as our National Monument antiquities and that 2.] a National Monument designation is a powerful economic driver. Let’s examine whether or not these righteous platitudes are, indeed, Holy!

House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) recently told Greenwire that, due to the Obama Administration’s violation of the (T. Roosevelt-Republican) Antiquities Act of 1906, “We’re going to have to go in there and fix all the crap that this administration just did,”…”Because they don’t go through the process, they don’t think ahead, they don’t solve the problems ahead of time. All they do is make a political statement, and that’s what the Antiquities Act has become: an abusive political statement.”

From venerated United States Senator Thomas A. Coburn, M.S., he writes:

“Dear Taxpayer, Visitors to national parks have been threatened with being charged for trespassing, obstructed from paying their respects at a memorial to those who lost their lives in service to our country, and turned away from other sites closed due to a lack of funding…Perhaps more than any other part of the federal government, our National Park System has become the unfortunate symbol of the dysfunction in Washington, DC. These cherished natural landmarks and national memorials, which were entrusted to the National Park Service to be preserved and protected, have instead been neglected or abused for political gamesmanship…Our elected representatives have been too focused on their own parochial political interests to see the state of disrepair that has befallen some of our greatest national treasures.”

And, from an article by Ryan J. Foley of the Associated Press entitled “National Park Service Buries Report on Effigy Mounds Scandal” we find out the following:

“IOWA CITY, Iowa-The National Park Service has shelved a blistering internal report that details a “decade of dysfunction” as the agency allowed dozens of illegal construction projects to cause significant damage to an ancient Iowa burial ground that Indian tribes consider sacred…The “Serious (sic) Mismanagement Report” was dated April 2014.

NPS officials at the Midwest Regional Office in Omaha ignored employees who repeatedly went to them with evidence of mismanagement and failed to take action despite numerous other warning signs, the report says.

And, then, from the Atlanta Constitution, Apr. 27, 1998, this was found:

Copyright © 1996 Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law

“…the Park Service itself has misused many of the funds appropriated to it. Indeed, the Park Service annually spends over ninety percent of its funds on construction projects and less than ten percent of its budget on resource management—which is supposed to be the primary purpose of the National Park Service. This has led to increased deterioration or degradation of our natural, historic, and cultural treasures.”

And, yet, comes this Pièce De Résistance from the U.S. Congress itself:

JOINT OVERSIGHT HEARING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY
OF THE
COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM
AND
THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON PUBLIC LANDS AND ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION
OF THE
COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRTEENTH CONGRESS
FIRST SESSION

AUGUST 2, 2013

U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. House of Representatives in session

“We initiated our review after receiving an anonymous complaint. We initially set out to determine if the United States Park Police could account for all military-style weapons in its inventory, whether the United States Park Police had failed to perform inventories due to missing weapons, and whether officers may have used United States Park Police weapons for their personal use. Our efforts to definitively address the allegations were hindered by the inability of the United States Park Police property and firearms custodians to provide a reliable baseline inventory and accounting of firearms..”.

and,

“Throughout the park system, the monetary shortfall has thwarted the Park Service’s ability to prevent the steady deterioration of roads, buildings, sewers, and other infrastructure. Additionally, the park system has been forced to close campgrounds, shorten operating hours, eliminate many interpretive programs, and lay off many seasonal rangers. The lack of funds has also hampered the Park Service’s ability to adequately care for its priceless natural, cultural, and historical assets. Finally, the funding shortage has forced the Park Service to eliminate many of the parks’ scientific studies programs.”

As of this writing, the National Park Service has an unfunded $11.5 billion backlog of required improvement construction to complete which has been years in waiting.

Yet, considering the National Park Services underfunded backlog of Monument improvements left undone, and with their meager budget, they could come up with the money to:

Produce Videos Praising Islam’s Contributions To Women’s Rights

Dept of Agriculture USFS Forest ServiceFrom the National Park Service official website:

“People think that Islam oppresses women and there’s no equality, but they’re wrong – there’s equity.

7th century A.D. Islam gave women the right to be involved in politics, the right to earn and keep her own money. Islam gave women the right to work outside of the home, Islam gave women the right to own property, Islam gave women…”

Yes, you read that right…this is an example of what the U.S National Park Service does with taxpayer funds earmarked for maintenance of our National Monuments.

And, finally, there’s this from the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER):

For Immediate Release: Oct 08, 2014
Contact: Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337

ACCOUNTABILITY & THE PARK SERVICE – LIKE OIL AND WATER

Washington, DC — “After an official investigation uncovered repeated contracting violations, nepotism, apparent misappropriation of funds and other misconduct at a national park, the Director of the National Park Service declined to take any corrective or disciplinary action, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). This sequence reflects the agency pattern of ignoring dysfunction and violations by NPS managers until problems are publicly exposed…’By contrast, the Park Service has no tolerance for whistleblowers and will rabidly pursue the pettiest of violations to punish perceived dissidents.’ ”

But, Keep Sedona Beautiful and our local aspiring politicians didn’t tell you any of this, did they?

Do they sincerely believe that a National Monument designation for our Red Rock Country will deliver a federal messiah to protect our interests or do they have other motives for not telling we locals all the facts? Well, some of the residents of Durango, Colorado believed in the Federal messiah too, until this week. Now beautiful Durango, which, like Sedona, is God’s country, has been utterly devastated by a man-made disaster caused entirely by Federal land management stewardship. But, I’ll deal with these issues in Part II, to follow in a couple of days.

Read www.SedonaEye.com for daily news and interactive views!

Read www.SedonaEye.com for daily news and interactive views!

49 Comments

  1. Readers at The EYE:

    Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow or Monday. There’s a lot more to this issue that you need to know.

    JRN

  2. jon croy says:

    rock and a hard spot ? drive up schnibley hill to witness our current system of caretaking…can we put anymore jeeps into red rock country? Private corp. greed or the us gov, what a wonderful choice.

  3. John Kay says:

    Always appreciate Sedona Eye and its writers and this is why others should as well. Few take the time to read facts and rely on friends and family for reliable sourcing. Now I’ll be a reliable source! Spread the word. No more government land from AZ!!

  4. Lina Rueda says:

    Thanks for the article…

  5. Thank You! says:

    Thanks for the article! Good stuff for us to know. Going to have to read this a few times. Look forward to Part ll.

  6. I’ll share with you that the 6000 plus residents of the Village of Oak Creek, Big Park have not directly asked for this so we may demand proof of this so called support.

    Big Park Council voted to endorse but as anyone in the know knows, that group of 10 homeowners associations and a business association that won a Governors award was hijacked in 2007.
    Big Park Council doubled in size with business associations that do not exist, groups of 3 ppl that have votes equal to 4000 residents of VOCA and BPRCC refuses to release each groups true numbers. One business association is a parking lot.

    The same people sit on all or most of the committees here and follow the lead of our Yavapai County.

    Some of these same people are involved with KSB.

    Quantify the data, prove the village endorses this or you may be tied up for a very long time defending false numbers to the government.
    That will keep you busy with legal dribble.

    Game time is over.

  7. Thank you, J. Rick Normand, for offering the other side of, literally, a monumental issue. As so frequently is the case, if it sounds too good to be true ~ beware.

    Promises made prior to the incorporation of Sedona quickly fell by the wayside with the implementation of the wastewater treatment plant which opened wide the opportunity for new development, cluttering our hillsides with timeshares and other projects, all first in line to acquire and use up sewer capacity prior to connecting existing Sedona subdivisions. Sedona long ago lost the concept of supply and demand as evidenced by the numerous vacant commercial store fronts.

    Adequate infrastructure went by the wayside in favor of promoting tourism, of course long said and rightly so, as the economic engine of Sedona. However, without appropriate planning and foresight we find ourselves in a state of confusion, running amok with uncontrolled traffic jams, the need for extensive increased fire, search and rescue services, which directly affects property taxes paid by local residents not only in the City of Sedona but the entire Fire District which encompasses a larger area..

    These were among the first breaches of what incorporation actually offered in spite of the belief of those who avidly campaigned for the effort that becoming a “city” with local government and control would assure many of the environmental benefits that are presently being offered by proponents for a National Monument which, indeed, is an additional layer of government and control. After incorporation the exact opposite of what had been promised occurred, and no time was wasted.

    Now that’s not to say the same would happen under the label of a National Monument, but there is no guarantee it will not happen either. Under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service who will the players be? More opportunists? The same as with elected leaders in Sedona, the cast of characters is constantly changing with people who mostly want things to be the way they want with little or no thought relating to original purpose.

    The fast track alone of this pursuit should give cause to ponder. None of us are capable of accurately portraying the end result but unintended consequences are forever lurking in the shadows. Although a majority (not a huge one) were duped into believing the pie-in-the-sky promises attached to being incorporated, as of this day we know what we are stuck with but no one can factually, honestly or truly commit to what we will be getting under the flag of a National Monument.

    Rick, you have done a fine service to research and comprehensively offer the other side of the coin and no doubt Part Two will be equally as riveting.

  8. S.Amon says:

    Thanks Rick! I agree but I worry about a small elite group of people being able to over ride locals with out a general vote of some sort. But there is the rub, no one will get to vote as the President to just sign us up for such status WITHOUT any local polling or vote. KSB keeps saying that we’ll get to voice our views but them there is no voting venue to do such. Jeeze the double talk of the supporters is mind boggling.

  9. Representative Bob Thorpe has done some extensive research on the issues of the entities that would control a National Monument. Please take the time to learn from his efforts.

    You may cast a NO MONUMENT vote on our website listed above.

    Bob’s research:

    https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2015/08/12/the-center-for-biological-diversity-a-h

  10. Donna Varney says:

    Thanks Rick for writing an article on such a important issue. Many of the locals are uninformed. It is great to get the word out. Appreciate this!

  11. Nancy Brown says:

    Your statement shown below that becomes your subsequent premise for this whole inflammatory article is flat out FALSE. It is highly irresponsible of you to masquerade this fabrication as fact. I sure wouldn’t take any financial advice from you. There are now 9 National Monuments managed by the Forest Service, the same management that existed for those areas before they were designated. It’s obvious you do not understand the designation process, especially in the last 20 years. The Management of the proposed Monument Area would be under the same current Management which is the Red Rock District of the Coconino National Forest. The NPS and BLM have nothing to do with this Monument designation.
    You should be ashamed of yourself for this absolute sham of an article that also makes some highly inaccurate statements about the NPS, but since that isn’t the subject at hand, I’ll let someone else straighten you out on that.
    This statement is false and you should print a retraction: “As a National Monument, our Red Rock Country will be under the absolute unchallengeable CONTROL of the federal government’s National Park Service or the Bureau of Land Management, both agencies of the Department of the Interior, which together manage 104 of a 117 National Monuments subject to the National Conservation Lands Portfolio.” This designation will help the Forest better manage, protect & preserve the future of the Forest and the qualities we treasure most. Get the facts correct for a change; check out the Monument Quick Facts Guide here and for more answers, you can check their FAQ: http://redrocknationalmonument.org/monument-quick-facts/

  12. @Nancy Brown.

    First, would you please state your credentials in detail,

    Secondly, please provide hard evidence that the U.S. Forest Service will provide the Red Rock Country National Monument management as opposed to any other agency I’ve mentioned

    Thirdly, please provide hard evidence of any U.S. Government GUARANTEE that the management of the proposed National Monument will not ever be changed to a different agency of the federal government from the agency who will initially manage the monument.

    Fourth, please prove that any of the recounts of Federal Land management that I have mentioned in this article are false or misstated.

    and finally,

    Please prove that the KSB presentation link you’ve provided does not suffer from major omissions of facts that should have been disclosed to the public.

    And I would suggest that you prove these matters very quickly to support your rant.

    JRN

  13. Also, if you look at the overlay map for the proposed Monument, it will control every access point in and out of Sedona. If Schenbly Hill Road or Red Rock Crossing were to be improved to make it usable as an alternate route in or out of Sedona, I don’t think that could happen if we were under Monument status. If there was an community supported project for the area that would require a Forest Service land exchange, I doubt that would ever happen either. This proposal is a serious overreach and, frankly, scare me! Talk about a “Pandora’s Box” that could never be closed……

  14. J. J. says:

    Reading Nancy Brown’s response … wow. Now I am even more adamant that Sedona should shun the National Monument. We all see how they “managed” the Animas River in Durango to get SuperFund dollars and job security. We all see how, using Forest Service contacts, Nestle was able to bottle up millions of gallons of water in drought-stricken California. They are NOT the good guys. They’ve sold us down the (Animas) river. We were going to go skiing at Lake Powell today, but thanks to the Forest Service management, we can’t get in the water. Do you realize how many people depend on that water. Wow. just wow.

  15. magickj says:

    “Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian.”
    – Henry Ford

  16. @Nancy Brown,

    Maybe you should check your facts. As of May 22, 2015, and out of 117 National Monuments, precisely six are solely managed by the USFS. Of those six, four are tiny in terms of acreage managed. Three more are co-managed with the BLM and they are not scenic wonders, to say the least.

    I await all your hard evidence as requested.

    Meanwhile, see this link:

    http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/other/npark6.html

    JRN

  17. Anonymous says:

    @J. Rick Normand – You know the worst part of this article is that you wrote it knowing you were misrepresenting the facts or else you lied in this article — either way, it’s shabby behavior. Because if you went to the Monument website, like you say you did, you would have known that this isn’t going to be managed by the Park Service. Either you lied about visiting the website or you changed the facts to fit your “Park Service diatribe.” Here are the 9 Forest Service-managed national monuments taken from the Forest Service website, http://www.fs.fed.us Brown’s Canyon shares a small part of it with BLM because BLM managed that part BEFORE the designation. The incoming management is the National Monument Management. So if it was split before, it will be split after. Please do your homework; you do a huge disservice to people when you disseminate false information. I’ve also sent your article on to the National Park Service so they can verify your facts;I already know some of them are very wrong but I’ll fact check them all. Somebody has to cuz you sure aren’t.

    1. Admiralty Island National Monument, Tongass National Forest, Alaska

    2;. Misty Fiords National Monument, Tongass National Forest, Alaska

    3. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington

    4. Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Deschutes National Forest, Oregon

    5. Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest, California

    6. Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument (link is external), San Bernardino National Forest, California (co-managed with the Bureau of Land Management)

    7.Chimney Rock National Monument, San Juan National Forest, Colorado

    8.San Gabriel National Monument, Angeles and San Bernardino national forests, California

    9. Brown’s Canyon National Monument, Colorado

  18. @Anonymous,

    If you’re trying to answer for hysterical Nancy Brown, you didn’t resolve anything for her. Apparently, she won’t back up her hysterics by complying with any of my legitimate demands for evidence. And, why are you parroting what I said in my second email above? That wasn’t very clever. So, to repeat, there are only the nine National Monuments you mentioned, out of 117 nationwide, that are managed by the USFS, but three of those are jointly managed with the BLM, and of the six managed by the USFS, four are tiny little parks. Finally, I find it interesting that anybody who won’t come out from under his rock (blog handle like “Anonymous) would call me a liar. Not to mention, you’re not terribly bright yourself. If I didn’t read KSB’s website, then how did I quote from it?

    I think you and NB are just Agenda 21 loving progressive liberals, aka “socialists,” who love to throw around allegations without the support of a singe demonstrable fact, point in authority (like an official report), or any expert testimony to support your ranting. You’ll notice that I am meticulous about documenting what I say. Nevertheless, you quote KSB as an authority. All the sources I quoted are infinitesimally more authoritative than KSB. KSB isn’t an authority…its a propaganda outlet. One last thing NB and Anonymous, my experience in over forty years of public debate with progressive liberals is that when it becomes obvious to them that they can’t support an argument, they always turn to name calling involving racism, bigotry or anti-semitism. So, when are you going to turn this National Monument Designation issue into a matter of vicious name calling? There must be some element of racism or anti-semitism harbored amongst those of us opposed to this particular National Monument designation. Right?

    JRN

  19. Just Sayin' says:

    Michael Schroeder you make a lot of sense but you always end up on the loosing side. I hope that you’re not this time.

  20. Sheri Graham says:

    @J. Rick Normand

    Thank you for your Part I. Please hurry up and get Part II out.

    Yes this is a land grab by the feds as our state is one of the last of wide open spaces they don’t own or haven’t secured to their liking.

    My take is that Tom O’Halloran is using this National Monument issue as his personal stepping stone for his campaign to run for Dist. 1 federal office….and Used KSB to bolster his credibility. (What credibility?)

    As you have correctly pointed out there will be several layers of gov management on a NM in Sedona….to which both Tom O’H and Ernie S. disagree with. That’s their right but you have written differently.

    But the reality (of a NM) is possibly real and since our national debt level has grown and our respect in the world had dropped and our president just opened our embassy up in Cuba and our Sec of State tells them and us that we need to work with them = BS on our Fed Gov having a clue as to how to manage our country….. let alone a new NM in Sedona.

    This issue is so much bigger than Obama’s legacy….but I doubt he will ever catch on to that. This is about private property owner’s rights and the existing fed and state laws in place.

    Sedona is fully controlled by Amendment 12. Over and out.

    I vote NO on the National Monument!

  21. @Anonymous

    You and Nancy Brown appear to be shills for KSB, one another, and all socialist United Nation’s Agenda 21 proponents. But, you’ve failed miserably to respond in her behalf to my legitimate requests for proof, points and authorities, and expert testimony to back up any of her claims that I was in error. Quit trying to create reader distraction with your emotional tirades and just produce the proof of your claims as I have requested. Meanwhile, thank you for sending the Eye and me the same info on the nine USFS managed National Monuments as I posted in the comment previous to yours. As far as me lying about reading KSB’s site, then how did I quote from it extensively? So far, you, NB, and other KSB shills haven’t been able to back up any of your rants as to my alleged errors with a single fact or authority. I’ll bet your next claim will be that my motivations for writing and documenting the truth are racist or anti-Semitic which is the standard progressive left tactic when losing a public argument. And, BTW, don’t quote KSB as an authoritative source…they’re merely a propaganda outlet!

    JRN

  22. To All Readers:

    It is very EASY to send your vote against the subject Red Rock National Monument designation to your Congressional Representatives in Washington, D.C. Just go to the link below, open it, fill out the requested information fields and hit the big red…VOTE NO. That’s it and your voice will be heard in Washington.

    http://www.arizonaliberty.us/Vote_NO_SVVRRNM_U.html

    JRN

  23. Nancy Brown & Anonymous…Rule #1 on the Sedona Eye website: You can post most anything you want here. Rule #2: There are certain people who post here who you are not allowed to disagree with without consequences. You made the fundamental error of criticizing J. Rick. That’s a serious no-no.

    As you have seen, J. Rick, our own local version of Donald Trump, goes on the attack whenever anyone disagrees with him. You are now the victims of his attacks. Since I have spoken on your behalf against him, he will now come after me. The scary part of it is his minions here will also go on the attack.

    This is standard for posters here, J. Rick made many baseless accusations against you about your supposed affiliations, but demands facts from you which will never be enough to counter him. This has happened to me in the past, so I am very familiar with his methods, duplicated by his minions.

    I am not suggesting that you stop your comments, but I do want you to know that I welcome your efforts to point out the flaws in his and others’ opinions which so many take as the truth from an alternate universe.

    Good luck to you both and any others who may dare tread where you have traveled.

  24. @Alarmed & Paying Attention

    Another fact-deprived one who is so brave while hiding in the dark of anonymity!

    JRN

  25. Birgit Rose says:

    Response to the Sedona Eye article “Is There a National Monument Designation Downside?

    The writer indicates that no answers will be found on the Keep Sedona Beautiful website.
    Why did the writer not consult the National Monument’s own website at http://www.sedonaverdevalleyredrocknationalmonument.org — this site contains extensive information on the designation issues.

    The writer goes on to indicate that issues in Durango, Colorado, have something to do with the proposed monument.

    The Durango issue concerns the environmental consequences of release of toxic water from a mine into a river. None of which has anything to do with a monument.

    The article correctly indicates that the lands proposed for the monument are currently under the control of the U.S. Forest Service. It goes on to state that “our Red Rock Country will be under the absolute unchallengeable CONTROL of the federal government’s National Park Service or Bureau of Land Management.”

    The monument will be under the same management authority as it is today — the U.S. Forest Service, as are 9 other national monuments.

    The writer indicates that federal police powers using squadrons of GPS-articulated drones will be used and that the area may be closed to recreational uses that have been historic uses for the area. The article goes on to indicate that military-grade weaponry of lethal firepower could be used.

    In fact, the recreational uses of the lands are to be protected under monument designation. And as indicated earlier, the Forest Service will still have management authority over the proposed monument.

    When referring to issues such as fees, access to sites or trails and to limit the amount of time a visitor can spend, etc., the writer states: “They also have the unchallengeable authority, at their will, to limit access to National Monuments to only certain people, to dictate what activities one may engage in within a Monument, to charge any fee amounts for access that they alone determine to be reasonable, to limit access to only certain sites or trails, and to limit the amount of time a visitor can spend in the Monument or what type of vehicle he/she may drive into the Monument, ad infinitum.”

    Lets review this statement with the facts. The U.S. Forest Service or any federal, state or local agency, does not have any unchallengeable authority. They must adhere to specific rules and regulations of the Coconino National Forest Land Management Plan, laws pertaining to public lands, and the specific management plan for the proposed monument. Unlike today the designation, as it has in other monuments, calls for the maximum amount of public participation in the planning process allowable. As far as the issues concerning limitations on use, recreation is a monument value here and is to be protected.

    Using the proposed Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument as an example, the writer states: “while ignoring the Antiquities Act, to seize another 1,700,000 acres near the rim of the Grand Canyon but not in the canyon.” The Monument designation does not seize any lands at all. The lands that would make up this National Monument are already under federal ownership and managed by federal agencies of the United States. In fact, the Antiquities Act clearly indicates that only federal lands can become National Monuments.

    Identified in the article are various comments concerning the National Park System and National Park Police.

    Again, the proposed Sedona Verde Valley Red Rock Monument is to be managed by the U.S. Forest Service with the maximum amount of participation by local citizens and governments. We are requesting an ongoing role for local communities to be part of any planning process or changes to plans.

  26. @ Alarmed & Paying Attention aka Steve DeVol of Sedona.biz

    Steve, you can come out of the closet now. Is this indicative of your concept of professionalism as a purported journalist? Or, did your two progressive friends that I hammered in the courtroom persuade you to write your commentary here?

  27. Sheri Graham says:

    Whoa! some folks need to slow their roll here. There is no poster on this site that can even come close to Trump so please stop trying to switch the topics!

    What J Rick does is not to be compared to a national presidential race….He is just trying to protect our little town being sucked up by folks who don’t give a damn and he reports on those issues.

    @Alarmed & Paying Attention – who is safe in pointing out your mistakes because it seems to me that You are the only safe person? Ha! Freedom of Speech (by your rules) would be dead. J Rick calling KSB a “merely a propaganda outlet” was spot on!!!

  28. Judy Stein says:

    @J. Rick Normand

    You just proved Alarmed & Paying’s point, thank you.

    Now I post under my real name and I don’t agree with you so take your best shot!

  29. @Judy Stein,

    Please clarify:

    1] Under which handle were you previously disguised?
    2] With which issue don’t you agree?
    3] Why do you feel it necessary to give cover to Steve DeVol?
    4] Regarding the 5 perfectly legitimate requests of your cohort above TWO DAYS AGO, namely Nancy Brown, and all the other co-spokespersons for KSB at this site, why have you and KSB not provided any evidence whatsoever to refute anything I’ve written?

    Your refusal to answer any of these questions will constitute surrender even before I take my best shot which will be supported with demonstrable facts unlike KSB’s “Fantasy Land” website presentation!

    JRN

  30. E. Maddock says:

    While KSB continues to promote the NM at various forums and meetings, why is it they don’t offer a debate by inviting someone from the opposing side to appear before the public? A representative from the Forest Service for example. Also it would be substantially beneficial if someone from the Forest Service would appear before the Sedona City Council (and other municipality jurisdictions involved in this process). Wouldn’t that clarify once and for all which “side” has the most credibility?

  31. LOL says:

    “J. Rick, our own local version of Donald Trump” @Alarmed & Paying Attention

    Was that intended to be an insult?

    Considering Donald Trump is probably the most famous person in the US at the moment (maybe even globally) and remains at the top of the poll (or close to it) of those vying for President, quite possibly it’s the highest compliment anyone could offer.

    Can’t stop laughing – you made my day when I read that one.:-)

  32. Judy Stein says:

    Mrs Maddock, what a great idea about having a ranger from the FS speak. That question was asked at one of the council meetings and Tom said, “They’ll do what they’re told”. In all honesty, I guess he’s right. Certainly, it’s the FS opinion that I would want more then anyone else. I guess that they’ll do what they’re told.

  33. @Judy Stein,

    Since you maintain that the KSB represents a voice of authority in this issue of a Red Rock Country National Monument designation, as to whether or not the U.S. Forest Service or the National Park Service will manage it, you may want to read the study on US Forest Service incompetence at this site from the the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment and the Gallatin Institute:

    http://fee.org/freeman/a-century-of-forest-service-ineptitude

    Federal Land mismanagement is as likely under one federal land management agency as the next. To argue that a National Monument designation will serve us better under one agency, as opposed to another, is an absurdity. And, by the way, why do you think that KSB hasn’t invited a speaker to address all of you hoping for the NM designation after all this time? The reason is that they know that the USFS will NOT guarantee that they will have final and perpetual management authority over the Monument designated area you are hoping for. And neither can they deny any of the factual evidence I’ve provided in my two part article. The fact is, no one in authority is going to step forward and confirm your imaginary belief-system about federal stewardship.

    For the THIRD time, I repeat, I await all your hard evidence that will disprove anything I’ve written. You and your cohorts need to stop evading my challenge to produce documented truth as to your accusations if you are honest people.

  34. To all readers of The Eye:

    It seems it may be time to move this discussion, or debate, over to the comment section of Part II of the lead-off article above. Sedona Eye reader Kim Chott has passed along a magnificent and stunningly well-researched argument OPPOSING KSB’s proposal supporting a SVVRR National Monument Designation. Please go to Part II here at The Eye and read the second half of this two part article as well as Ms. Chott’s extraordinarily informative comment and feel free to reference comments on this blog as well as refer to this lead-off article in the comment section for Part II.

    Before any of you move over to Part II, however, please read the following link from the The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and Fire Department, as well, as follows:

    NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF PROPOSED NATIONAL MONUMENT DESIGNATION

    http://thecvcouncil.com/2014/10/09/negative-impacts-proposed-national-monument-designation/

    JRN

  35. Laura, VOC says:

    Tom said, “They’ll do what they’re told”. @Judy Stein.

    And when was Tom O’Halleran designated as an official spokesperson for the USFS?

    All the more reason for an authorized Forest Service representative to address questions in person and publicly. All governing entities involved with the proposed land under consideration should demand for that to happen prior to taking an official yea or nayvote on the issue.

    Thanks for the heads-up.

  36. @Birgit Rose,

    My response to your comment is precisely the same as given to Nancy Brown, Anonymous and Judy Stein, namely:

    First, would you please state your credentials in detail,

    Secondly, please provide hard evidence that the U.S. Forest Service will provide the Red Rock Country National Monument management as opposed to any other agency I’ve mentioned,

    Thirdly, please provide hard evidence of any U.S. Government GUARANTEE that the management of the proposed National Monument will not ever be changed to a different agency of the federal government from the agency who will initially manage the monument.

    Fourth, please prove that any of the recounts of Federal Land management that I have mentioned in this article are false or misstated.

    and finally,

    Please prove that the KSB and National Monument websites do not suffer from major omissions of facts that should have been disclosed to the public and don’t have political agendas at their core.

    Additionally, the National Monument website as well as the KSB website are singularly prejudiced towards a political point of view. Meanwhile, the ecological disaster in Durango has everything to do with the proven incompetence of all US federal land management agencies. Apparently, you didn’t read my explanation as to how all federal agencies are inter-related, inter-correlated and inter-dependent upon and to one another. Yours is yet another KSB baseless rant based on emotions rather than cold hard facts. None of proponents of the NM designation seem to have any hard facts on hand, but rather just prejudiced marketing pieces from the KSB and the National Monument website which have political agendas to propound.

  37. Why Sedona? Why not make the Grand Canyon a National Monument?

    Sedona’s water rights are in the cross-hairs of the federal government. Senior water rights will become junior water rights under the NM designation. Anyone with a private well or creekside home or irrigation rights will lose those rights to the NM. The Salt River Project has claimed Oak Creek water and for the past 20 years area residents have been fighting to keep their water rights.

    Problem – Reaction – Solution = National Monument designation. The NM in Nevada signed by Obama is nothing more than a land and water grab. (See also the stand-off at the Bundy Ranch last year when snipers were placed in position, armed and ready to shoot upon the protesters!)

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/05/21/new-national-monument-nm/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_River_Project

    http://www.columbia-institute.org/pdf/FedReservedWaterRights.pdf

  38. Anonymous says:

    Senator Udall’s proposal would create a National Monument designation for land on both sides of the Arkansas River between Salida and Buena Vista, and create a Wilderness designation for Browns Canyon on the east side of the river. Senator Udall has proposed 3 different options for designating the area as a National Monument and Wilderness.

  39. john says:

    Typical of so-called both sides coverage, however, the author’s and the publishers extreme right spin is evident to the casual reader.

  40. Kate McG. says:

    Cheap shot. Typical of liberal & conservative peanut brains are inability to understand both sides.

  41. (I was asked to post my comment here after posting it on Sedonadotbiz. I noticed that comments about the National Monument are now closed on that site – apparently they don’t want to hear your opinions on the matter. )

    Hello. I am from Victorville, CA but my family lives in Pomona. We often go to the San Gabriel NM. I’ve been going to the same picnic and campground since we was kids – since at least 2003. The place became a National Monument last year, but nothing has changed. It’s still the litter and graffiti filled place it always was. We were there on Father’s Day and we had to sweep up all the broken glass before we could set up for the day. A ranger came round and said that there’s no money for Park Service maintenance and it will be a while before they get the funding to hire maintenance people. When asked about that 3 million dollars the National Monument was supposed to be getting, he said that that money was raised by volunteers before the monument was created – the money didn’t come from the feds and fund raising efforts are continuing. Later we went to go for a hike but we kept coming upon fences and signs that said “No Access.” I guess that’s what they spent the 3 million dollars on – fences and No Access signs. We’ve been hiking that same trail since we was kids.
    Sedona – don’t do it. Don’t get the National Monument status. It won’t help you.

  42. @Archie Mendez,

    Thank you Archie. There’s nothing that will be convincing to our locals than a first-hand report. Keep your comments coming.

    JRN

  43. Serious! says:

    Is there a downside? There is not a single positive to this debacle!

  44. Actually Sedona’s water rights are in the cross hairs of SRP (Salt River Project) who spends more money than god with their lobbyist’s to screw all of us who really do have water rights and only for their corp benefits. There are also too many uneducated people who only live to cry doom (wolf) on the water issues.

    All the Udall family members are die hard Leftist Democrat’s who have spread themselves outside Ariz (where they started in Tucson) only in order to propagate their perceived democrat control as they try to build their dynasty.

    @Archie Mendez: Bless you for sharing your information with us!

    @Anonymous – and your point is?

    Laura, VOC @ Your post is so correct. Please keep keeping that level of intelligent levity.

    and finally – to J Rick – YOU need to keep spilling the beans.

  45. Where’s that PBS link about what a NM did to that Ohio community? Can’t find it. Why are you people trying to ruin Sedona???????

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