May 4, 2017 by Sandra Zellmer

Trump's Plan to Dismantle National Monuments Comes with Steep Cultural and Ecological Costs

Professors Michelle Bryan and Monte Mills of the University of Montana co-authored this article with Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar and University of Nebraska—Lincoln Professor Sandra Zellmer. It originally appeared in The Conversation on May 3, 2017.

In the few days since President Trump issued his Executive Order on National Monuments, many legal scholars have questioned the legality of his actions under the Antiquities Act. Indeed, if the president attempts to revoke or downsize a monument designation, such actions would be on shaky, if any, legal ground.

But beyond President Trump's dubious reading of the Antiquities Act, his threats also implicate a suite of other cultural and ecological laws implemented within our national monuments.

By opening a Department of Interior review of all large-scale monuments designated since 1996, Trump places at risk two decades' worth of financial and human investment in areas such as endangered species protection, ecosystem health, recognition of tribal interests and historical protection.

Why size matters

Trump's order suggests that larger-scale monuments such as Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, or the Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana, run afoul of the Antiquities Act because of their size. Nothing is farther from …

May 3, 2017 by David Flores

We've seen a flurry of news coverage in the last several weeks on climate migration, displacement, and relocation. In a new report published today, the Center for Progressive Reform explores these issues and examines tools and resources that communities can use when faced with the challenges of relocating out of harm's way. 

The New York Times Magazine recently profiled one homeowner in Norfolk, Virginia, who purchased a home that had never been flooded, but in the ten years since has flooded twice, causing her flood insurance premiums to skyrocket and the home to lose almost half its value. She ended up leaving her home and the city. 

But climate-based migration and displacement isn't just affecting people on an individual level. Large-scale human movement, driven in part by climate impacts, is already occurring in various places around the globe, as noted in another article in …

May 2, 2017 by James Goodwin

Today, Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholars and staff are releasing a comprehensive analysis of the Senate Regulatory Accountability of 2017 (S. 951), which Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced last week. Our analysis explains how S. 951 would drastically overhaul the Administrative Procedure Act, which has successfully guided agency enforcement of public safeguards for over 70 years. A summary of the key findings of the analysis is also available

The bill is the latest legislation to be put forward by conservative members of Congress who want to revamp the process by which the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and others craft the regulations that protect us from physical and financial harm. So, how does Portman and Heitkamp's bill differ from all the rest? They claim theirs is much …

May 1, 2017 by Robert Glicksman

Donald Trump's antagonism toward environmental and natural resource protections seems to know no bounds, legal or otherwise. Among his latest targets are our national monuments, which include some of the most beautiful and historically, scientifically, culturally, and ecologically important tracts of federally owned lands.

During the reign of destruction the president has unleashed in his first 100 days in office, his commitment to fossil fuel resource extraction and development regardless of the impact on our nation's natural resource heritage has become clear. Trump signed a bill repealing the Interior Department's regulations restricting mountaintop removal mining practices that impair water quality and create gaping landscape wounds. He blocked long overdue revisions to the Bureau of Land Management's land use planning rules that afforded greater importance to the protection of ecological integrity and required the agency to consider the impacts of climate change on public lands. He revoked the …

More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
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May 23, 2017

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May 22, 2017

Requiring Formal Rulemaking Is a Thinly Veiled Attempt to Halt Regulation

May 16, 2017

Ahead of Markup, CPR Member Scholars Voice Concerns over the Senate Regulatory Accountability Act