President Donald J. Trump in a valiant and continuous effort to make sure we have no green space, clean air or natural beauty left signed another executive order. The ordered signed, on Wednesday April 26, 2017, in front of sycophants and rudderless Republicans reviews enforcement of the 1906 law that gives president’s the power to designate lands as national monuments.
While most voters who gave Hillary Clinton the popular vote are for anything limiting Trump’s power, this executive order could permit Trump to remove the protection designation of public lands, national parks and monuments from the last 20 years. Designations that were assigned by the three previous presidents: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
The 1906 Antiquities Act has often been opposed by states especially conservative states that want to be given the land back so it can be used for other purposes. Once land is designated as protected by the federal government local municipalities lose their authority over the property and no development or commercialization of the land is allowed.
Will this potential roll back include the Cesar Chavez National Monument and the Nuestra Señora Reina de La Paz National Historic site located in Keene, California? The monument was given national designation by Obama on October 8, 2012. The Cesar Chavez monument sits on 116 acres and is located in the Tehachapi Mountains separating California’s Central Valley and the Mojave Desert. The designation was the 398th given by a sitting president.
Hopefully Trump who doesn’t indulge too much on facts will remember that the iconic farm worker leader is buried at the site and the site is the home to the farm workers movement. Many fear that may not be enough to stop a president with little interest or respect for Latinos. Will he care that this federal designation was the first honoring a contemporary Latino?
Even Chavez relatives are worried about what Trump might do to the Chavez monument with Paul F. Chavez president of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, which partners with the National Park Service to administer the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument writing a powerful op-ed for The Mercury News.
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