Trump Asks for Review of Obama's Half-a-Billion-Acre Land Grab; CNN: 'Controversial!'

April 26, 2017

"Controversial" has become CNN's standard qualifier for everything the federal government has done since Inauguration Day. Wednesday was no different.

The "controversial" order in question merely instructs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review monument declarations made by previous presidents.

"The president says they're going to free up that land," said host Kate Bolduan. "He's going to change how much of that land is federally protected and handing it back to the states."

Control back to where the land actually is? Controversial!

It just so happens that Trump's predecessor—the Great Protector of Land, according to CNN—designated over two times as many acres as federal land than all other presidents, combined. That's not controversial to CNN, or the fact that several of Obama's proclamations grabbing up millions more acres were done in his final weeks in office. He simply "moved to protect … wide swaths of land in the American West" out of concern for the environment.

If you can't slow the rise of the oceans, the next best thing is a massive 553 million-acre land grab.

CNN did say Obama's monument declaration in Utah was "controversial," but only in reference to the mean Republicans who opposed it because they have a crazy idea of wanting historic lands to be controlled by locals in their own state. Obama's declaration establishing the Bears Ears monument noted the need to protect the golden eagle, and the bald eagle. Oddly, he did not say from him.

In December, CNN fondly looked back at the "areas Obama has protected," dismissing the "some" who "accuse the administration of last-minute land-grabbing to protect Obama's environmental legacy before President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January."

The Obama administration did just that.

The New York Times glowingly described Obama's land grab as an "effort to protect public lands," and made it abundantly clear why he issued numerous monument designations in his final days in office: "to nail down as much of his environmental legacy as he can before Donald J. Trump assumes the presidency on Jan. 20."

The Times is also concerned with that legacy, warning Trump's executive order could "upend protections put in place" by Obama.

Trump's executive order directs Zinke to review presidential monument declarations over 100,000 acres. The review could lead to recommendations for the Trump administration to "rescind, resize, or modify existing national monuments."

Does anyone outside the media bubble think it is a problem for local governments to control their own land in their own states? What if the administration cuts back all of Obama's new monuments? The feds would still own 84.9 percent of Nevada.

A review that might possibly roll back federal control of lands is not "controversial." It's overdue.