Originally Posted by peakone
In my opinion, there is too much uncertainty to wholeheartedly agree that this is (was) a good idea.
First, it takes a lot of work and organizing to get a President to designate a Monument so I can honestly say congratulations to those years of hard work. It sounds like a lifetime of commitment for some folks.
But I agree with the above. Obama is designating three monuments today and only two of them sound like they fit within the actual intent of the Antiquities Act. I am all for protecting historical or archaeological sites by Presidential action. That said, Brown's wasn't qualified for a "scientific" justification, neither the terrain or river really satisfy any modern need for science. There is something unseemly and unjust about continuing to expand the power of the Executive, even when it happens to align with ideals I have. The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of broad interpretations of the Antiquities Act but that is once again about law not justice.
As an environmentalist I fully recognize the importance of protecting river and riparian corridors from extractive industry, at least some. We have lost and degraded the vast majority of riparian corridors in the west which affects every level of ecology. That said, this seems to be about end game politics and not about a "just" form of governance and designation. I come from a school of environmental law that believes the long term benefits of protection can easily and readily be compromised by HOW we choose to protect our lands. There are a ton of examples in the West in which unilateral presidential action has led to decades of increased social tension and often the degradation of lands.
And to be honest....something totally rubs me the wrong way about the primary reason for this being economic. Its honestly covered in the vast majority of press. I recognize AW is working towards access and environmental protection but the designation required aligning with an economic imperative that isn't really aligned with most modern ecological concepts. More people along the Arkansas River Valley is not consistent with increased protection, plain and simple. Recreational tourism can be better for the land but this "more is better" mentality rarely is.
Could be wrong.