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jinx'sboy
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PostMon May 16, 2022 1:04 pm 
[quote="altasnob"]…..and I can't think of any national monuments that contain wilderness. There are a few, most notably Craters of the Moon in ID, a NPS area and Misty Fjords in AK, managed by the FS. There are some other, smaller Nat Monuments - managed variously by FS, NPS or BLM - in CA, NV and southern NM. All contain designated Wilderness.

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PostThu May 19, 2022 12:58 pm 
altasnob wrote:
I'm not aware of any increased protection for a national park versus a national monument.
I've heard of national monument being returned to state control. I've never heard of that happening with national parks.

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PostThu May 19, 2022 12:59 pm 
kiliki wrote:
No one likes anything to be "overrun" but this area can handle more visitation.
Which would pull people away from other places that may be less able to accommodate them.

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PostThu May 19, 2022 12:59 pm 
It's a simpler question for me. Is Saint Helens worthy of national park status? Yes, it is.

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PostThu May 19, 2022 1:45 pm 
Cyclopath wrote:
It's a simpler question for me. Is Saint Helens worthy of national park status? Yes, it is.
H'mm -- looking at the NPS website -- my reading is that Mt St Helens has a number of elements leaning toward Mounument status. https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/portfolio/portfolio0b.htm
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National monuments, on the other hand, are areas reserved by the National Government because they contain objects of historic, prehistoric, or scientific* interest. Ordinarily established by presidential proclamation under authority of Congress, occasionally these areas also are established by direct action of Congress. Size is unimportant in the case of the national monuments.
* emphasis added I suspect that the scientific aspect is a significant reason why the Mt St Helens area has retained National Monument Status and there hasn't been legislation to make it a national park -- nor provide a wilderness designation for areas within the Mt St Helens area. Extensive scientific monitoring activities -- especially via helicopters or drones wouldn't be in keeping either the guidance for national parks or wilderness areas.

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PostThu May 19, 2022 2:11 pm 
altasnob wrote:
I'm not aware of any increased protection for a national park versus a national monument.
Really? Bears Ears? Grand Staircase-Escalante?

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PostThu May 19, 2022 3:26 pm 
What I was getting at is what activites are currently allowed at Mt St Helens National Monument that would not be allowed in Mt St Helens National Park? I can't think of anything. And I believe the current state of the law is that Presidents can make National Monuments, but Presidents cannot shrink the size or eliminate National Monuments. I know Trump tried with Bears Ears but NRDC sued, and was likely going to win the lawsuit, when Biden took over and undid all the stuff Trump was trying to do.

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PostThu May 19, 2022 4:04 pm 
altasnob wrote:
I believe the current state of the law is that Presidents can make National Monuments, but Presidents cannot shrink the size or eliminate National Monuments. I know Trump tried with Bears Ears but NRDC sued, and was likely going to win the lawsuit, when Biden took over and undid all the stuff Trump was trying to do.
Thanks for that link. The legality of shrinking a National Monument was never decided by the courts and the legal wrangling over the mining claims will probably go on for years. Everything that Biden has done will probably be reversed again with a change in administration. Wikipedia states "National monuments have been reduced by previous presidents, but not since 1963 and never to such a large degree". I believe that it would be a much different matter with a National Park.

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jinx'sboy
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PostThu May 19, 2022 5:45 pm 
altasnob wrote:
…I believe the current state of the law is that Presidents can make National Monuments, but Presidents cannot shrink the size or eliminate National Monuments.
I ran into this on a wikipedia site, while I was reading up on Nat Monuments and Wilderness: “In 1978, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed over 2,200,000 acres of the Tongass NF as the Misty Fjords National Monument. In 1980, this acreage got reduced to 2,142,243 acres but was now congressionally designated as Misty Fjords National Monument Wilderness….” So, it looks like Pres. Carter either partly reversed his own designation, or there is actually a 57,000+ acre piece of Misty Fjords NM that isn’t Congressionally designated as Wilderness but IS still Nat Monument. (or wiki has it wrong - not a surprise, I guess.) It sort of makes sense to me that a President can in fact, ‘undo’ what they did, with the same authority granted to him/her by the 1905 Antiquities Act. But who knows ??

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PostThu May 19, 2022 7:25 pm 
Schroder wrote:
I believe that it would be a much different matter with a National Park.
It is my understanding that National Parks are designated by passage of a bill in congress. It would take a subsequent act by congress to modify or eliminate a park. National Monuments can be designated by the president and modified or eliminated by the president. There are undoubtedly extensive CFRs involved and Since "the prior guy" wasn't keen on following administrative procedure, environmental groups likely had plenty to utilize in lawsuits about the reductions in Bear's Ears, etc. Of course even if "the current guy" did follow the CFR's to the T , the mining/oil/gas companies that purchased extraction contracts have the right to sue, because you can always sue, whether you win depends on the law, how well each side presents their case and what judge(s) hear the case.

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PostThu May 19, 2022 7:40 pm 
Randito wrote:
There are undoubtedly extensive CFRs involved….
There are no CFRs involved. It is a matter of the Presidents authority and discretion under the Antiquities Act of 1905.

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PostThu May 19, 2022 9:33 pm 
Randito wrote:
National Monuments can be designated by the president and modified or eliminated by the president.
This is disputed law with no decision yet. Here's what the Natural Resource Defense Council argues in their brief on Bears Ear and Grand Staircase-Escalante:
Quote:
The President’s power, if any, to issue a proclamation dismantling a national monument must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself. The Property Clause of the Constitution grants exclusive power over the nation’s public lands to Congress, not the President. The Antiquities Act does not grant the President authority to dismantle national monuments; that power resides exclusively in Congress. The Act’s text, protective purpose, legislative history, and numerous other congressional enactments all confirm that Congress delegated to the President a limited power to create national monuments, but not to abolish them in whole or in part
In the Government's brief defending Trump, they point out plenty of presidents have reduced the size of national monuments. For example, Mount Olympus National Monument (now Olympic National Park) was diminished—on three separate occasions by three different presidents—without any reason cited in the proclamations (Taft, Wilson, and Coolidge). But presidents reducing the size of national monuments only took place from 1911 to 1963. It was never challenged, so NRDC contends that just because past presidents have done it, doesn't mean that what they were doing was legal.

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PostFri May 20, 2022 6:45 am 
kiliki wrote:
Mt St Helens Institute is an educational non-profit. They don't maintain infrastructure--I have no doubt the USFS forbids anyone else from doing this--or have helicopters. They teach school groups, run camps like GeoGirls, and in my case on Friday, a lovely young woman taught a group of birders about the geology/ecology of the area before leading us on a hike.
My daughter was one of those lovely young ladies a few years back. The MSHI exists for one primary purpose which is unfortunately not education. The purpose is to allow the monument to have employees who are not federal GS scale employees. Since the work is seasonal, the employees are considered temporary and receive no benefits whatsoever to go with their minimum wage paychecks. They do get housing at the institute, if they didn't there would be no employees. Interpretive rangers at national parks become seasonal federal employees and receive the minimum benefits for federal service. And despite the disclosures that altasnob listed, we really have no idea whether anyone is getting rich off of it. I do think that as the novelty has worn off, the lack of overnight accommodations has driven the decline in visitation. It's a long drive from anywhere, which makes for a long day. As for protection, there is already no camping and no hiking off trail, no hunting, no collecting. I'm not arguing against Schroder's point that the protection should be permanent, but the blast zone is the most restricted piece of real estate in Washington I think.

Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir

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PostFri May 20, 2022 8:12 am 
^^^ Very interesting. The NPS may be better able to provide actual employees. It may seem like a small thing but in terms of, how would the NPS better protect it: like I mentioned, the USFS opened trails including the birding trail to dogs. The NPS would presumably not do that, so in my mind yes, the NPS would better protect the area. Particularly if they were better able to staff it.

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PostFri May 20, 2022 8:38 am 
Sculpin wrote:
And despite the disclosures that altasnob listed, we really have no idea whether anyone is getting rich off of it.
That's a pretty cynical view. The 2019 tax form, the latest available online, shows total contributions and grants 723k and 245k in program service revenue. Total combined revenue at 952k. Salaries are 657k, other expenses 269k for a total expenses of 926k. I guess it's possible that the executive director is paying himself 600k while paying all the other employees nothing, but highly unlikely, considering there are minimum wage laws. There appears to be at least 13 employees, although no sure if full or part time. And executive staff salaries have to be approved by the unpaid board of directors. So safe to say no one is getting rich. In fact, I bet quite the opposite is true. You give up a massive amount of earning potential by choosing to work in the non-profit world rather than private practice. I bet if you ask them, they will tell you how much their executive staff gets paid each year. I have a friend who manages a non-profit museum here in Tacoma. In speaking to him, it's safe to say no one is getting rich on this non-profit line of work and those who make a career of it are doing so for their passions, not the money.

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