By now, most are aware that President Trump has dramatically shrunk the size of two national monuments in the State of Utah. This is a move strongly supported by Utah’s elected representatives (although polling shows Utahans more closely split). On the other hand, Trump left New Mexico’s recently named Rio Grande del Norte & Organ Mountains monuments intact. Also notably, with the exception of Congressman Pearce, New Mexico’s monuments were strongly supported by New Mexico’s elected leaders (including local officials).
While we at the Rio Grande Foundation agree with Congressman Pearce on shrinking the Organ Mountain monument (he represents that area of the State), but it is hard to argue with the Trump Administration’s logic on the issue: respect views of those in the relevant states.
While free market supporters can certainly take issue with Trump’s views on marijuana policy and trade as well as his manner of speaking (and tweeting), Trump is in many ways devolving power to Congress, the states, or individuals. After eight years of Obama taking a centralizing approach to government power, Trump’s nuanced federalism on many economic and environmental issues is welcome.
We at the Rio Grande Foundation only wish that New Mexicans shared the skepticism Utahans have about the massive federal presence and control of land and resources, but that skepticism and a general attitude of self-reliance have made Utah an economic juggernaut. New Mexico could learn a lot from its catty-corner neighbor.