Rep. John Curtis said his legislation to solidify President Donald Trump’s changes to the Bears Ears National Monument is probably dead.
Curtis made the comments to a group of constituents in Monticello on Monday. He said he hoping to change the proposal enough so it could win passage. He also warned, unless his bill passes, a future president could undo President Trump’s alterations, and have the monument revert back to the original monument designation.
“Everyone is mad at this bill,” said Curtis. “That might be a good signal that it is a good bill.”
Curtis explained that he had been a Congressman for three weeks when President Donald Trump shrunk the boundaries of the original Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent.
He added that the process to create a Congressional bill was rolling before he started serving and said, “A three-week Congressman is in no way prepared to solve an issue of this complexity.”
However, he added, “I’m the representative of this area, and I wanted to be part of the debate,” so he became the bill’s sponsor.
Curtis explained that despite the challenges the bill faces, “the alternatives are not really good.
“A change in the Presidency could see this flip back to the larger designation. And then, down the road, another Republican president could flip it back. In this scenario, the losers are all of you and the land.”
Curtis also says Congress could back off and let the lawsuits play out, but that could be a decade or more.