Letter: Ehrhardt Monuments are for the Generations to Come

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors meet Tuesday and they are supposed to discuss a letter they want sent to U.S.  Secretary of the Interior, Mr. Ryan Zinke,  requesting “Lifting of the  Monument designation throughout Arizona”of our U.S.  National Monument sites.

The letter from the board  is signed by Chairman Gary Watson.  

As  a 40-plus-year time resident familiar with the regions and landscape  that encompass our current National Monument sites, I can emphatically state that there would be no benefit to reversing their preservation designation.

These lands are pristine  areas that have many species of wildlife and historical, traditional and cultural properties from the local First Nation tribes that date back hundreds of years. Some are also giant water sheds that capture rain water and feed to the great Colorado River which feeds water supply to the lower half of the state.These areas need to be kept pristine and not have contaminating industry developed on them. 

The County Supervisors letter states that the five Cs of economic development “holds true today” – the five Cs  being copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate. The letter states that we need to reverse the Monument sites so  those industries  can  go in and massively develop those land areas  with these economic activities.

Now remember, these are the current Supervisors that state that they do not know how to protect our underground water resources from the massive agriculture  going on around us right now, that is depleting our ground water supplies for future generations. 

The supervisors need to be told to cease and desist from jeopardizing   our federally protected land in Mohave County,  or anywhere else in this country. They can’t protect what is in their jurisdiction now and they want to let loose more devastation and ground water depletion. 

Please attend the next Supervisors meeting to express that enough is enough – leave our federal monument sites alone and do not send that ignorant letter to the Secretary of the Interior. 

The reason the Antiquities Act of 1906  was enacted was to protect public land and  to preserve public land in perpetuity for future generations to come. President  Teddy  Roosevelt started it out by designating the Grand Canyon and 18 other sites that millions of people around the world visit every day.

This creates more economic development and less  impact on the land  than the County Supervisors’ “five Cs.” It is gross ignorance to believe that the future of Mohave County will not grow into the brilliant future that is ahead of us for our children.

With magnet levitation transportation, autonomous virtually  everything, 3D printing and artificial intelligence, the world is about to unfold unbelievably. There are approximately 7.4  billion people living and using resources on our fragile planet right now, and 9.5 billion people predicted by 2050, so we need to preserve more land and the natural world before there is nothing left except the “five Cs” everywhere that our elected supervisors want.

Every president has the honor to designate National Monument sites, and great deliberation and consideration goes into the federal designation. Mohave County citizens and elected officials gave their input and after deliberation the sites were made official.

The consideration that now we should begin a yo-yo game of U.S. Presidents designating sites and then the next President reversing the decision is ridiculous, and, most likely, a violation of federal law.

National Environmental Policy Act regulations protect the land and it is a direct violation of the commitment the U.S. Government has with First Nation tribes.  First Nation tribes are sovereign governments within the U.S. Government. Once you make a federal monument designation, First Nation tribes have traditional rights to the land – as they should. By  reversing the federal designation, you are stealing  land from them – again and again. 

When it is appropriate, our new president should be considering the new sites he will designate, and leave the wise decisions of past presidents alone.

You don’t “Make America Great Again” by   reversing past President’s  designations and taking away federal public lands from future generations.  

Respectfully,

Jack Ehrhardt