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Browsing the archives for the State gov category.

CA Natural Resources pushes, again, for control over Siskiyou rivers

California Rivers, California water, Klamath River & Dams, Salmon and fish, Scott River & Valley, Siskiyou County, State gov

PNP comment: Look at the out-of-area dictators, who want to tell Siskiyou County and its residents how we should live. — Editor Liz Bowen

Additional comment by Rex Cozallio, landowner below Irongate dam near Hornbrook, CA:

I was extremely agitated and disheartened to become aware of this proposition that would severely impact our region submitted in February by a non resident assemblywoman  out of GLENDALE, California ‘sponsored’ (paid for) by ‘Friends of the River’, and ‘supported’ by 23 more profiting ‘non-profits’ and NO OPPOSITION!  This relentless onslaught, mounting countless paid for attacks with the ever-expanding objective of effectively confiscating vested private and public property without compensation or  impacted regional input, must end.  Quickly and quietly shoved through lobbied ‘legislative process’, their obvious and successful theory is that a certain portion will sneak through before sufficient public awareness, further empowering the unelected policy-driven bureaucratic power base permitting public oppression and the further social/economic division of classes.  This ‘provision’ adds an incredible, ridiculous, and impossible-to-survive complete and unimpeded REWILDING of the affected regional rivers, particularly the Klamath, Scott, and Shasta.  It not only prescribes unrestricted ‘natural’ accretion and avulsion of riparian property, it discretionarily restricts ANY use of riparian areas within a QUARTER OF A MILE of EACH side of the rivers.

In searching for the legislation last night, the ONLY reference I could find that wasn’t an unrelated 2013 Bill of the same number, was the sponsoring ‘Friends of the River’ website.  A link within that led to the Assembly woman’s promotional page.  From multiple calls I found out the Bill I heard about last night is in Natural Resource committee ‘hearings’ TODAY.  The only other ‘opportunity’ to publically ‘respond’ will be at the next as yet unscheduled or posted Administrative/Budgetary hearing.

After talking to the ‘legislative analyst’ Michael Jered about the unnotified and most impacted regions in opposition, I was admonished on several fronts.  Unequivocally saying that failing to access the information was my and the local representatives’ fault since it was submitted in February, and that I should take up any complaints with them, he graciously allowed that I may write a letter of opposition which he could ‘place in the file’, even though it would not be acknowledged, but would be ‘available’ in the event someone ‘wanted to read it’.

He also said I could have certainly gone to Sacramento to testify to the Committee ‘if I wanted’, but of course that ‘would not be possible for today’ and any failure to go to legis.ca.gov to inform myself was ‘my problem’, and that is ‘just the way the process works’.

Telling him it did not show up on a search of that site, he assured me that it was there and I just wasn’t doing it right.  Insisting I was wrong, he went to the legis site and said ‘just look at the 2015-2016 legislation’,  at which point he hesitated and said ‘oh, I guess they haven’t posted the years legislation yet’ (in March, and this is the first he knew?).

If you wish to call him, his number is 916-319-2092, but it appears the only way to impact the progression now is to actively push to somehow track it AFTER it no doubt passes through Committee today, the point at which we would likely have been the most able to rescind.

All the Best,

Rex Cozzalio

 

CA ab975..please read time sensitive, hearing date March 20th

Date of Hearing: March 20, 2017

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES

Cristina Garcia, Chair

ABPCA Bill Id:AB 975 (

Author:Friedman) – As Introduced Ver:February 16, 2017

SUBJECT:  Natural resources:  wild and scenic rivers

SUMMARY:  Adds “historical, cultural, geological, ecological, hydrological (i.e., unique source, direction, or quantity of water flows), botanical or other values” to the values that certain rivers possess and the state should preserve.  Expands the area protected in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System (System) from immediately adjacent to the river segment to within a quarter mile of the river.

EXISTING LAW, pursuant to the California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Act):

  • Declares that it is the policy of the state that certain rivers that possess extraordinary scenic, recreational, fishery, or wildlife values be preserved in their “free-flowing” state, together with their immediate environments, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the state. Declares that such use of these rivers is the highest and most beneficial use and is a reasonable and beneficial use of water.

  • Defines “free-flowing” as existing or flowing without artificial impoundment, diversion, or other modification of the river. (The presence of low dams, diversion works, and other minor structures does not automatically bar a river’s inclusion within the System.)

  • Requires that those rivers or segments of rivers included in the System be classified as one of the following:

    1. Wild rivers, which are those rivers or segments of rivers that are free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted;

  1. Scenic rivers, which are those rivers or segments of rivers that are free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped but accessible in places by roads; or

  1. Recreational rivers, which are those rivers or segments of rivers that are readily accessible by road or railroad, may have some development along their shorelines, and may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past.

  • Designates several California rivers and segments thereof as components of the System.

  • Requires the Natural Resources Agency (NRA) to be responsible for coordinating the activities of state agencies whose activities affect the rivers in the System with those of other state, local, and federal agencies with jurisdiction over matters that may affect the rivers.

FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown

 

COMMENTS:

  • Author’s statement:

AB 975 brings the California Wild and Scenic Rivers System more in line with the federal system, improving state management of rivers that enjoy dual state-federal designation, and allowing for the protection of existing and future state rivers that possess additional values beyond those currently mentioned in the Act.

  • The Act. The Act was passed in 1972 to preserve designated rivers possessing extraordinary scenic, recreation, fishery, or wildlife values.  With its initial passage, the System protected segments of the Smith River and tributaries, Klamath River and tributaries, Scott River, Salmon River, Trinity River, Eel River, Van Duzen River, and American River.  The System was subsequently expanded by the Legislature to include the East Carson and West Walker Rivers in 1989, the South Yuba River in 1999, the Albion River and Gualala Rivers in 2003, and Cache Creek in 2005.  In addition, segments of the McCloud River, Deer Creek, and Mill Creek were protected under the Act in 1989 and 1995 respectively, although these segments were not formally designated as components of the System.

The Act provides a number of legal protections for rivers included within the System, beginning with the following legislative declaration:

It is the policy of the State of California that certain rivers which possess extraordinary scenic, recreational, fishery, or wildlife values shall be preserved in their free-flowing state, together with their immediate environments, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the state.  The Legislature declares that such use of these rivers is the highest and most beneficial use and is a reasonable and beneficial use of water within the meaning of Section 2 of Article X of the California Constitution.

The Act defines “free-flowing” as “existing or flowing without artificial impoundment, diversion, or other modification of the river.”  The existence of minor structures, or even major dams located upstream or downstream of a specific segment, does not preclude a river from designation.  Several rivers, such as the Klamath, Trinity, Eel, and Lower American, are included in the System despite substantial flow modifications by existing upstream dams and impoundments.

No dam, reservoir, diversion, or other water impoundment facility may be constructed on any river segment included in the System.  However, there are exemptions, which include temporary flood storage facilities on the Eel River and temporary recreational impoundments on river segments with a history of such impoundments.  NRA cannot authorize these temporary recreational impoundments without first making a number of findings.

A cornerstone of the Act is the non-degradation clause, which prohibits new projects and activities from adversely affecting the free-flowing condition and natural character of river segments included in the System.

The Act was patterned after the 1968 National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Federal Act).  The state and federal Acts share similar criteria and definitions in regard to the purpose of protecting rivers, the identification of free flowing rivers and extraordinary or outstanding values suitable for protection, establishing a study process to include rivers in the system, as well as an identical classification system.  The primary purpose of both the state and federal Acts is to prohibit new water impoundments on designated rivers.

  • Consistency with the Federal Act. The state Act differs from the Federal Act in that it does not recognize as many river values.  The additional values in the Federal Act include historical, cultural, geologic, and “other similar” values.  Federal agencies have interpreted “similar” values to include ecological, botanical, and hydrological.  When NRA studied the East Carson and West Walker Rivers they found them to have extraordinary hydrological values.  However, that value is not in the Act.  AB 975 adds the additional values considered by Federal agencies, but it also adds “other” values.  This differs from the Federal Act because it is vague compared to “other similar” values.  The author and committee may wish to consider amending the bill to reflect the Federal Act by using “other similar” values.

The Federal Act also creates protections within a quarter mile of a river in the system.  The state Act defines immediate environments to be immediately adjacent to the river, and defines river to include up to the first line of permanently established riparian vegetation.  AB 975 would align the state Act with the Federal Act by defining immediate environments to include within quarter mile of segments of the river.  This change would have the effect of directing state and local governments to act in a manner that protects the additional immediate environment.  In addition, AB 975 would provide more consistent direction for rivers in the federal System that the state manages.

  • Previous legislation.

AB 142 (Bigelow), Chapter 661, Statutes of 2015, requires, prior to the designation of the Mokelumne River, the NRA to conduct a study analyzing the suitability or non-suitability of the Mokelumne River, its tributaries, or portions of the river for addition to the System.

SB 1199 (Hancock, 2014) would have designated a 37-mile portion of the Mokelumne River in Calaveras and Amador Counties in the Sierra Nevada as a wild and scenic river.  SB 1199 was held in the Assembly Appropriation Committee.

SB 904 (Chesbro), Chapter 545, Statutes of 2004, requires state agencies to protect the free-flowing character and extraordinary values of designated rivers and to clarify that Special Treatment Areas under the Forest Practices Rules are applied to rivers classified as recreational or scenic as well as those classified as wild.

REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:

Support

American Rivers
American Whitewater
Butte Environmental Council
California Water Impact Network
California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
California Outdoors
California Wilderness Coalition
CalTrout
Coast Action Group
Defenders of Wildlife
Foothill Conservancy
Friends of the Eel River

Friends of the River
KIER Associates
Merced River Conservation Committee
Natural Resources Defense Council
Northcoast Environmental Center
Northern California Council International Federation of Fly Fishers
North Fork American River Alliance
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
Sacramento River Preservation Trust
Safe Alternatives For Our Forest Environment
Sierra Club California
South Yuba River Citizens League

Two individuals

Opposition

None on file

Analysis Prepared by:   Michael Jarred / NAT. RES. /

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CA Guv didn’t know he could obtain info from a friendly congressman?

State gov

CA Files Freedom of Info Request … Wants to Know What ICE Is Up To

By Stephen Frank on Mar 07, 2017 08:59 pm

The State of California has filed a FOI to find out the inner workings of ICE—the State wants to know the priorities of deportations, when, where, who is targeted and how the government chooses those to be deported.  I guess the really confused Guv Brown did not know that he could have any Congress member […]

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Keeping up with CalSTRS is causing teacher layoffs

State gov

Marin County Schools: Next Victim of CalSTRS

By Stephen Frank on Mar 07, 2017 08:55 pm

Teachers will be laid off—to pay for the pensions of the teachers still working.  Staring July 1 the cost of mandatory CalSTRS contributions by an average of 13%–and that does not solve the $200 billion unfunded liability.  Worse, the return on investments in 2015-16 was 1.4%–not the proclaimed 7.5%.  CalSTRS is in deep trouble, with […]

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CA Guv Brown: Gas tax and increase in DMV registration fees!!

State gov

SB-1: Gas Tax Increase/NEW $100 Vehicle Registration Fee and More Taxes

By Stephen Frank on Mar 07, 2017 09:01 pm
The new budget of Guv Brown includes a 42% increase in gas taxes and a $65 dollar increase in the vehicle registration fee.  Democrats love taxes—lot of them.  The so-called “moderate” State Senator Bob Hertzberg has a bill to increase gas taxes 12 cents a gallon, a  $38 increase for in vehicle registration fees for […]

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CA. Senator Jim Nielsen sends letter and thank you

State gov

On Sunday, North State residents were alarmed by the alert from the Department of Water Resources about the potential failure of the auxiliary spillway at Lake Oroville.

Within hours, the great people of the North State, from Plumas Lake to Oroville, peacefully evacuated their homes due to the damaged spillways at Lake Oroville. Nearly 200,000 people loaded their most valuable possessions, pets and essential needs into vehicles and headed on to crammed highways.

In heavy traffic, North State residents – fearing the unknown and dealing with anxiety, no doubt – evacuated without incident.

Law enforcement officials and social workers helped steer citizens to where they needed to go. Hundreds of first responders assisted and transported those who were most vulnerable. Residents of neighboring regions opened their homes to strangers.

Construction crews filled bags of rocks overnight so helicopters could drop them into the spillway at first sunlight. Workers continue to watch water levels around the clock.

In this time of high stress and unease, the citizens of our region held their heads up high and behaved admirably.

These are amazing actions of kindness, cooperation and patience.

The world’s eyes are upon us. Thank you for showing the world how great Americans are.

Sincerely,

Jim Nielsen
Senator, Fourth District

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Editorial: State, feds must answer for Oroville Dam fiasco

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, CA & OR, State gov

Editorial: State, feds must answer for Oroville Dam fiasco

SJ Mercury News

Federal and state officials have a lot to answer for in the wake of the Oroville Dam fiasco. They decided in 2005 to ignore warnings that the massive earthen spillway adjacent to the dam itself could erode during heavy winter rains — which it has done — and cause a calamity, which it very nearly did this week and could yet do by the end of this winter.

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State water officials were warned of Oroville Dam weakness a dozen years ago

Air, Climate & Weather, Dams other than Klamath, State gov

SacBee.com

February 13, 2017 1:06 PM

 As California officials rushed Monday to stabilize conditions at Oroville Dam, the state’s top water official brushed aside questions about recommendations made a dozen years ago to upgrade the emergency spillway that nearly failed Sunday.

In a Monday afternoon news conference near Oroville Dam, Acting Department of Water Resources Director Bill Croyle was asked whether the spillway should have been reinforced years ago as advocacy groups advised in 2005 filings with the federal government.

Croyle said he wasn’t familiar with the reports, but that once the crisis subsided, engineers would do a thorough analysis of what went wrong.

“That’s part of our vetting process,” he said.

The recommendations to strengthen the spillway came as state officials were seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to relicense Oroville Dam for another 50 years.

Advocacy groups including Sacramento-based Friends of the River said at the time that the emergency spillway would actually pose a danger if the reservoir were hit with heavy storm runoff from the Sierra Nevada and filled to the brim.

The groups said the emergency spillway needed to be strengthened to avoid almost precisely the events that occurred this weekend, when the spillway activated and the forested hillside below began eroding dangerously close to the lip of structure.

“As I recall, effectively (the official) response was ‘Well, you know, it doesn’t seem likely we’d ever have to use the emergency spillway,’” Ron Stork, a senior policy advocate at Friends of the River, told The Sacramento Bee.

Stork’s group advocated for the changes along with officials in Yuba and Sutter counties downstream from the dam. At the time, state officials objected to upgrading the spillway, saying it wasn’t necessary.

“Our facilities, including the spillway, are safe during any conceivable flood event,” Raphael Torres, acting deputy director of the State Water Project, told The Bee in 2005.

The spillway issue dates to 1970, when the operational manual for the dam was updated with the expectation that Marysville dam would be built on the Yuba River, a tributary of the Feather. This new dam was authorized by Congress in 1966, but never was built.

Nevertheless, Oroville operations were designed to work in concert with the Marysville dam to ensure Feather River flows would not exceed the holding capacity of downstream levees.

Croyle said Monday that second-guessing decisions of his predecessors may come later.

“We’re going to get into recommendations or concerns that were voiced in the past,” he told reporters Monday. “But right now, we’re focused on maintaining public safety – not strictly during this event, but also this spring runoff period.”

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article132468874.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Gov. Brown Appoints Radical Enviro Justice Activists to Public Utilities Commission

CA & OR, Elections, State gov

Flash Report.org

Posted by at 1:03 am on Jan 04, 2017

Wednesday, January 04, 2017 1:03 AM

Governor Jerry Brown has just appointed two radical environmental justice activists to the California Public Utilities Commission, replacing two commissioners whose terms expired January 1, 2017.

Awaiting Senate confirmation, are Clifford Rechtschaffen and Martha Guzman Aceves — two Brown insiders with shady records and a history of Environmental Justice. They aren’t unknown; bothGuzman Aceves andRechtschaffen have been exposed prominently in articles on this news site, and several others (links below).

Don’t let the term “Environmental Justice” fool you. This “justice” is not about protecting poor and low income communities from excess pollutants or toxic materials; it is about environmental extremists’ scheme to spread wealth through government mandates. Remember President Obama’s… Read More

http://www.flashreport.org/blog/2017/01/04/gov-brown-appoints-radical-enviro-justice-activists-to-public-utilities-commission/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

 

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17 new California laws that will affect you in 2017

State gov

The Orange County Register

17 new California laws that will affect you in 2017

This year the state legislature sent Gov. Jerry Brown 1,059 pieces of legislation.

The bill breakdown
898 the governor signed into law
159 the governor vetoed
2 become law without signing them.

Here is a sampling of other new laws that Californians will wake up to in January:

Assault weapons: The new gun-control regulations broaden the definition of illegal assault weapons, require background checks for the first time for ammunition purchases and limit the lending of guns to family members. California bars purchasing, semi-automatic, centerfire rifles or semi-automatic pistols that lack a fixed magazine and have one of a number of features that include a protruding pistol grip or a folding or telescoping stock. If you already own one of these weapons you’ll have to register it.

Gender-neutral bathrooms: While North Carolina waged a proxy war in its restrooms over gender identity, California quietly went in the opposite direction. Assembly Bill 1732 requires all single-toilet bathrooms in businesses and public agencies to be gender neutral.

Minimum wage, equal pay and paid parental leave: The statewide minimum wage goes from $10 to $10.50 an hour for businesses with 26 or more employees — a rate that will rise to $15 by 2022. Under another law, Assembly Bill 1676, an employer can’t pay a woman less than her male colleagues because of her prior salary. Assembly Bill 2393 gives up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave to all K-12 and community college employees, including classified workers and community college faculty.

ON THE ROAD

Motorcycles: Current law does not change; lane splitting by a motorcyclist remains legal if done safely. This bill defines lane splitting as driving a motorcycle, which has two wheels in contact with the ground, between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane. The bill permits the CHP to develop lane splitting educational safety guidelines in consultation with other state traffic safety agencies and at least one organization focused on motorcycle safety.

Child safety seats: Although this law was passed during the 2015 legislative session, it takes effect Jan. 1. Children under two years of age must ride rear-facing in an appropriate child passenger safety seat. Children weighing 40 or more pounds, or standing 40 or more inches tall, are exempt. California law continues to require that all children under the age of eight be properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat in the back seat of a vehicle.

Use of Wireless Electronic Devices: Motorists are no longer permitted to hold a wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device while driving a motor vehicle. Rather than holding the device, it must be mounted in the 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver. Another option is to affix the device to the dashboard in a place that does not obstruct the driver’s clear view of the road and does not interfere with the deployment of an airbag.

The law does allow a driver to operate one of these devices with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the finger, but not while holding it.

Driving under the influence – Ignition Interlock Device: Starting in 2019, a driving under the influence offender will be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for a specified period of time in order to get a restricted driver license or to reinstate their license. The law also removes the required suspension time before a person can get a restricted license, provided that the offender installs an IID on their vehicle. The law extends the current four-county (Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, Tulare) DUI IID pilot program until Jan.1, 2019, at which time all DUI offenders statewide will be required to install an IID to have their license reinstated.

School bus safety: This law requires all school buses, school pupil activity buses, youth buses, and child care motor vehicles used to transport school-age children to be equipped with a “child safety alert system.” Every school is required to have a transportation safety plan with procedures to ensure that a pupil is not left unattended in a vehicle.

Tour bus inspections: This new law requires the CHP to develop protocols for entering into a memorandum of understanding with local governments to increase the number of inspections for tour buses operated within their jurisdictions.

Hunger and homelessness: Assembly Bill 1995 requires community colleges with shower facilities to make them available to homeless students, while Assembly Bill 1747 requires public and private colleges that offer food service to apply to participate in a state-funded program that provides meals to the homeless. Advocates for homeless students note that those without permanent housing often don’t have a reliable way to store or prepare food.

Docs and prescription drugs: Inspired by the Bay Area News Group’s Drugging Our Kids investigation, which revealed the state’s dependence on psychotropic medications to control troubled children, lawmakers passed legislation to hold physicians accountable. Senate Bill 1174 puts doctors who recklessly prescribe psychiatric drugs at risk of losing their medical license. Senate Bill 1291 will require more transparency and tracking of mental health services for foster kids.

Booze: Powdered alcohol — yes, that is a thing — is now illegal to possess, sell or make. But beauty salons and barber shops can serve small amounts of wine and beer as long as it’s free and it’s before 10 p.m. — a privilege previously enjoyed by patrons of hot air balloon rides and limos.

MORE

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/california-739867-laws-guns.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Fight on over Bears Ears monument in Utah

Dept. of INTERIOR, Federal gov & land grabs, State gov

@amyjoi16

Deseret News.com

SALT LAKE CITY — Angry Utah leaders are vowing to do everything within their power to unravel President Barack Obama’s Wednesday designation of a new national monument in Utah.

They say they will call on the Trump administration to reverse the proclamation, file a lawsuit or if nothing else, shrink the size of the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears Monument with congressional legislation and wipe away any last bit of funding.

Despite the fist shaking from critics, Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the Obama administration does not fear the backlash in Utah and added there’s no belief that an attempt to rescind the proclamation will prove successful.

“No presidents have actually undone a monument by a (previous) president,” she said, adding that there is no provision in the Antiquities that expressly would allow that action.

Goldfuss actually made the official announcement of the monument designation in an embargoed teleconference with reporters 60 minutes before it went public.

The designation was sought by the leaders of five Native American tribes and a coalition of environmental and conservation groups, much to the dismay of San Juan County leaders and Utah’s top elected officials.

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said just because rescinding a monument hasn’t been done, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There’s no precedent, he stressed.

“As Utahns, we will use every tool at our disposal to do the right thing,” he said. “As Utahns, we will fight to right this wrong.”

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, called the designation an “arrogant act by lame a duck president” that will not stand.

“I will work tirelessly with Congress and the incoming Trump administration to honor the will of the people and undo this designation.”

MORE

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865670063/Fight-on-over-Bears-Ears-monument-in-Utah.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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