Trump & Republicans Make War on Nation’s Environment
District 3 Indivisible Colorado Leads the Resistance
It seems not a day goes by without a headline hurling a new Republican outrage committed against our nation’s precious natural environment. Whether it’s dismantling our national monuments or slaughtering hibernating bears, our wild lands and their denizens are under attack by the Trump regime and its Republican enablers.
District 3 Indivisible Colorado organizer Erika Gordon says the Republican war on nature is deeply distressing. “There is a continual onslaught of attacks on the environment from Trump and the Republicans,” she says. “Clean air and water and preservation of public lands should not be a partisan issue.”
The attacks, through executive fiat and Republican-controlled legislation, have been frequent and brutal. This week the EPA settled a lawsuit reversing an Obama determination to protect Bristol Bay, the world’s largest salmon fishery, from surface mining by a Canadian gold mining company. This on the heels of reversal of a seismic blasting ban to map undersea oil deposits—long considered harmful to marine life.
Colorado District 3 voters have a particular interest in the Trump/Republican proposal to weaken or do away with National Monument designations. America’s newest monument, the Bears Ears of southeast Utah, is a 1.3 million acre parcel that is a favorite destination of western slope residents for hiking, climbing and biking. But it’s facing the Republican guillotine. Trump and his Republican allies have set their sights on dismantling the new monument designated by past President Barack Obama.
U.S. Colorado District 3 Representative Scott Tipton has been at the forefront of Republican efforts to do away with Monument designations and weaken their enabling legislation—the Antiquities Act in 1906.
In a 2016 letter Tipton argued, “The need for the Antiquities Act in its traditional form has passed.”
In terms of wild land protections, National Monument designation is just below National Park designation, but Tipton has said such protections are too strict. ”Most modern-day Presidential designations under the Antiquities Act are far too prescriptive,” Tipton said.
District 3 voter Lynn Sikkink of Gunnison doesn’t agree. “It’s essential that we protect these irreplaceable national treasures,” she says. “It’s the Antiquities Act that makes this possible.”
Gordon agrees with Sikkink. She says that Tipton’s reliance on out-of-state campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests are clouding his judgment. “We must fight to protect our public lands,” she says. “On this issue, congressman Tipton isn’t even listening.”
Sustaining the Resistance
Gordon says that after the initial adrenaline surge that has fueled the Trump/Republican resistance has worn off, it’s essential for people take a moment to regroup. “We have to create a movement that’s sustainable,” she says. “For lack of a better word, we have to make it fun.”
That’s why Gordon and her cohorts organized an Earth Day Concert. The Colona Fairground event attracted some of the best local musical talent on the western slope including R2-D3, Devil and the Details, and Niceness.
After listening to the soulful sound of the duo, R2-D3, and the song writing and guitar virtuosity of Devil and the Details, the audience was treated to the full-bodied sound and original music by Niceness, the western slope’s emerging reggae powerhouse.
Lead vocalist and songstress Koral Delatierra expressed her views on the importance of the event. “Unity, Justice, Equality and Action’, this is what Niceness stands for,” she says. “Through our music, we are doing our best to take action by bringing people together in celebration of life and serving as an inspiration to take personal responsibility and to rise to the occasion to be the change we wish to see in the world. It is up to all of us as individuals to do our part. D3 is an an awesome resource and action platform helping to spread awareness of what we can all do on a personal and regional level. If we as a band can draw more to people a D3 event and get them engaged, all the better.”
Caroline Richardson agrees. “This gathering is essential to remember who is beside us in our deep collective love for the planet and our own freedom. To look in the eyes, feel the hearts of those of all ages playing music, dancing relating to what's important despite the distractions and negativity in the world, is both grounding and empowering. It is where we have to imprint to act alone and together within our own circle and make a difference.”
May 26th is the last day to comment on the Bears Ears National Monument.