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Chair Of House Subcommittee On National Parks Calls Parks, Other Federal Lands Unconstitutional



U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, who chairs the House subcommittee that oversees national parks and other federal lands, says it is unconstitutional for the federal government to own those tracts.

And while the Utah Republican would like to see most federal lands in the West turned over to the states, he said the federal government can keep national parks "because they’re not moneymakers anyway."

Rep. Bishop made the comments recently in Las Vegas, where he was appearing at a Western Republican Leadership Conference meeting, part of which focused on federal control of public lands in the West.

According to a report from Think Progress, a nonpartisan arm of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the congressman told those attending the conference that nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it provide for such federal land ownership.

During a slide presentation to the conference the Republican said, "Federal government owns one out of every three acres in this country. If it’s west of Denver, it’s one out of every two acres. If this kind of federal control is good, then the Soviet Union should have been the Garden of Eden. But what this presents to us – and I defy you to find anywhere in the Constitution where this is allowable - but what it defines to us is – the second slide if you would – everything in red are the states that had the hardest time funding their educations system."

In its report on the meeting Think Progress pointed out that Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution provides that “Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States.”

Rep. Bishop also told Think Progress that he fully supports mining near Grand Canyon National Park, and says it would have "no impact on the Grand Canyon water or tourism that happens to be there."

U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials last week announced their preference to extend a moratorium on uranium mining around the Grand Canyon for 20 years. After a 30-day waiting period, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will be able to sign off on the plan.

There has been legislation introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives to block the administration from enforcing the moratorium. In July the House Appropriations Committee amended Interior's budget bill to tie the administration's hands on the matter.


People such as Rep. Bishop are an uninformed group.  They choose to ignore the data that shows national parks have improved the ecomony in surrounding areas.  They have no respect for our national parks, wildlife and wilderness areas.  I'm sure they have never heard of John Muir!  They would allow drilling, mining and pollution on every inch of land.  Rep. Bishop should never be in a postion of authority to make decisions regarding our protected lands.  Thank goodness there were people in America's past who protected our national treasures!

Had to chuckle when I read the title of post.  Certainly a good title to stir up the conversation, lol.  
Seriously, the party that Rep. Bishop does not belong to while supporting no end of feel good, poll selected comfort words, there is a reality out there.  Almost to the point of using Air Force One (at tax payer expense) to import 1st time voters to prop up an administration's chances in the next election, jobs for these new voters are disappearing or nonexistent.  The buzz words to demean the private sector and the evil conservatives just don't carry the day anymore.  In the Parks across the country one of the most frequently seen signs (and cause of emergency room visits) is how bad it is to feed the animals.  This is an analogy, folks.  I agree with it, totally!  If every one of those animals could vote and steer revenue to the parks, what would be the result?  That's how bad the situation has gotten.  There are tough realities to be faced one way or the other and for the individual critters/people to be independent, productive in their own natural world is the way it would seem to be the most desirable.  The constant incendiary rhetoric by the extremes does not serve anyone or the resource, really.  Their needs to be reason inserted which is absent in the career dividers.  

God help us!


The National Parks should be the last place for drilling. Go there when there is no place left!

I can't resist a little humorous poke at  Rep.  Bishop, and all of those whose solution for anything they don't like is to simply cry "it's unconstitutional."
It doesn't appear the the constitution calls specifically for congressional subcommittees - or the convoluted House and Senate rules that are often used to "work the system" to the advantage of whichever party is currently in power.
Following Mr. Bishop's logic, all of those "unconstitutional" aspects of congressional operations ought to be eliminated :-)

No, Jim, Mr. Bishop should be eliminated by the voters.  But I'm afraid that this is Utah where anyone with a big (R) beside their name on the ballot is a sure winner.  I'm ashamed to live in this guy's district.  Our other members of Congress are equally dense and all use the "unconstitutional" gibberish very liberally.

Thank goodness there are other states with sensible Congress critters to offset the insanity of Utah.

I just called Rep. Bishop's office in Utah.  The lady there flat denied that Bishop had made any statements of this sort and asked, "Where did you hear that?"  I replied that I was reading it in National Park Traveler.  She then asked, "Well, what kind of publication is that?"

She then suggested I talk with Wayne Bradshaw, a legislative aide in Bishop's Washington office.  But when I tried to reach him, he was not available.  We need to flood Bishop's office with calls, emails, and letters.  (Although most member of the House require that anyone contacting them live within their district.  And as a bit of added irony, one of our Republicans -- Jason Chaffetz -- does not actually live in the district he represents.  {That's okay in Utah.}  But because I do not live in his district, I cannot contact him.  This is just one of many examples of the kind of insanity Utah residents must endure from our dominant party.)

I don't swear -- I really don't -- but there are times it sure is tempting.

So even though it may be difficult to get a Congress critter's ear if you don't live in Utah, you can still try calling their Utah offices where apparently your call (unlike email) will not be blocked if you don't reside in "their" district.  Bishop's Utah number is 801-625-0107.
Chaffetz' is (801) 282-5502.  Senator Mike Lee's is 801-524-5933 and Senator Orrin Hatch is (801) 524-4380

Let's all of us call and keep calling.  Ask to speak to Wayne Bradshaw and fill his ears with our displeasure.

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