It sounds so wonderful when you hear President Joe Biden’s words as filtered through the mainstream media: Almost a million acres of public land in Arizona has been designated a national monument, purportedly to preserve sacred ground.
Quoth CNN: “President Joe Biden on Tuesday designated the fifth national monument of his presidency and unveiled new climate resilience funding for national parks during a visit to lands surrounding one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon.
“Today I’m proud to use my authority under the Antiquities Act to protect almost one million acres of land around Grand Canyon National Park as a new national monument – to help right the wrongs of the past and conserve this land … for all future generations,” Biden told the media on Tuesday during a trip to the battleground state, where he proudly announced he was establishing the Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument.
“Today marks an historic step in preserving the majesty of this place, first among American landmarks, sacred to tribal nations, revered by every American. It speaks to the soul of our nations, reminds them of who we are,” he added.
Meanwhile, Council on Environmental Quality chairwoman Brenda Mallory told the media that the “land is sacred to tribal nations and indigenous peoples. Its sweeping plateaus and deep canyons share many of the features of the Grand Canyon.
“The land includes some of the most biodiverse habitats in the region, providing refuge for wildlife like bighorn sheep, bison, bald eagles and songbirds. And the area’s meandering creeks and streams flow into the mighty Colorado River, a critical water supply to millions of people across the Southwest.”
Beautiful. Wonderful. Bravo. And amid all of this talk about Biden designating this supremely hallowed land as a national monument, there was one teeny tiny detail that was mostly elided over by the major establishment media: The move, while it may appease the president’s far-left environmentalist base, will decimate the local mining and cattle industry, to say nothing of the fact it could potentially cripple our access to a resource critical to national security.
As CNN noted, “The designation protects the area from potential uranium mining. It also protects existing grazing permits and leases, existing mining claims and will support area hunting and fishing, officials said.”
Arizona State Senate Republicans said in a media release on Tuesday that Biden’s designation of the national monument was a “blatant government overreach of confiscating nearly a million acres of land” and putting it off-limits to miners and ranchers in a “Dictator-Style Land Grab.”
“This thinly veiled effort to appease his radical environmental base as he campaigns for re-election will have dire consequences for all Arizonans,” Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli said in the statement.
“We strongly condemn this dictator-style land grab that will greatly hurt Mohave County and further limit private and state land resources needed for our economic viability.”
Among those resources: uranium, which can be mined from the area Biden designated. Cutting off mining of the radioactive metal could make America more dependent on its enemies, Sen. Frank Carroll said in the statement.
“Halting uranium mining in this region will only promote our country’s dependence on communist China for the minerals needed every day to support our energy supply,” Carroll said.
“Even the FBI has sounded the alarm that China is the greatest long-term threat to our nation’s ideas, economic security and national security, yet President Biden is welcoming a greater reliance on this government with this action.”
Other Senate Republicans, meanwhile, bemoaned the fact that little to no consultation was done with the people who would be most affected by the decision to turn the land into a national monument — the people of Mohave County.
“There was entirely inefficient notice from the Biden administration to the residents, business owners and elected officials of Mohave County,” Sen. David Gowan said. “This is not how government should conduct itself within Arizona or within the United States.”
“We don’t need the federal government coming in and dictating to Arizonans how to protect Arizona. We’ve been doing a fine job of conserving our precious resources and will continue to do so. This federal overreach is unacceptable and unconstitutional.”
And uranium mining won’t be the only industry hit: “This move will have drastic implication for the livelihoods of our cattle ranchers who have relied on this land for generations,” said Majority Whip Sine Kerr. “There are no better stewards of the land than our farmers and ranchers. The fact they were left out of the discussion process is infuriating and just wrong.
— AZSenateRepublicans (@AZSenateGOP) August 8, 2023
It wasn’t just state Senate Republicans who were irate about the decision to appease radical environmentalists at the expense of Arizonans and American national security.
Kari Lake — the GOP candidate for Arizona governor during the 2022 election cycle and a potential contender for Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s seat in 2024 — tweeted that Biden “just stole 917,000 acres of our land.”
“Because of our broken elections: we don’t have a Governor or an Attorney General willing to fight back against this theft,” she said. “Arizona has surrendered its state sovereignty to the federal government.”
.@JoeBiden just stole 917,000 acres of our land.
Because of our broken elections: we don’t have a Governor or an Attorney General willing to fight back against this theft.
Arizona has surrendered its state sovereignty to the federal government.
When you sacrifice a hill,… https://t.co/mjLcNhCpwD
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) August 8, 2023
“When you sacrifice a hill, they’ll take a canyon,” she added.
Of course, perhaps the upshot of this is that the people of Arizona will see just how much the Biden administration cares about the ordinary residents of the state. That could be a wake-up call for voters who handed Arizona to Biden in 2020.
That’s little solace, however, for those on the rotten end of a “dictator-style land grab.” It sounds so great when you hear President Biden talk about it, particularly when viewed through the rose-colored glasses of the mainstream media. The true impact of the situation, however, is an altogether different beast than the president is describing.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.