Western Caucus Press Releases

“Most Transparent” Administration in History Bats .149 with Missing Monument Documents
Posted by on May 5, 2010 | comments
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Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) today announced the Administration has turned over only 383 out of 2399 pages of information pertaining to a leaked Department of Interior (DOI) memo.  The leaked memo showed the Administration considered locking up as much as 13 million acres throughout the West.  The remaining pages of the secret memo that instigated this investigation were not included in the documents turned over to Congress.

In February 2010, Congressman Bishop obtained the leaked internal DOI document that outlined 13 million acres in 11 different Western states as potential areas to be designated as national monuments.  Under the Antiquities Act, the President may exercise executive privilege to unilaterally designate new national monuments without congressional oversight or input from local officials, stakeholders and residents.   

On February 26, 2010, Congressman Bishop, House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04) and other Western Caucus Members sent a letter  to DOI Secretary Ken Salazar requesting all relative information pertaining to the DOI’s plans to designate new national monuments throughout the West.

“By refusing to turn over thousands of pages of documents to Congress about this Administration’s potential plans to lock up millions of acres of lands, they have destroyed any remaining illusions about being transparent.  Secretary Salazar told the people of Utah last week “they have nothing to fear” over the internal memo of potential National Monument designations.  The Clinton Administration made similar assurances to the people of Utah.  After the designation of the Grand Staircase Escalante, Utahns have at least 1.6 million reasons to be skeptical.  The question that needs to be asked is what is this Administration hiding?  If the DOI has nothing to hide on this issue, then why not hand over 100% of the documents to once and for all prove to the American people that they are not planning a massive land grab out West.  Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  In baseball terms,  the Administration would be batting a lackluster .149.  By the more important common sense standard, the American  people know that something is fishy when their government attempts to hide information from the public.” said Caucus Chairman Rob Bishop.

Questions remaining:

1.   What are the full extent of the Administration’s brainstorming plans?
2.   What outside groups are involved?
3.   Who instigated these discussions?
4.   What is the involvement of the White House?
5.   Why not allow the American public to see all the documents?

Click here to read the DOI letter to House Natural Resources Ranking Member Doc Hastings (R-WA), Western Caucus Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), and other Western Caucus Members regarding information pertaining to planning within the DOI to designate new national monuments throughout the West.


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