Click Take Action to send an email to five U.S. Representatives that recently sent a letter in opposition to National Monument reform. A copy of the email will also be sent to your Member of Congress to make sure that he or she understands that this issue is important to you and other constituents.
Recently five Members of Congress, Representatives Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Hanna (R-NY), King (R-NY), Gibson (R-NY) and Grimm (R-NY) wrote House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Simpson (R-ID) in opposition to National Monument reform. The letter states, “We are writing to ask you to oppose any amendment that would eliminate or in any way undermine the President’s authority under the Antiquities Act to protect objects of historical, cultural and environmental value…” It is important to note that the five Members are from Eastern states and may not fully understand that the power granted by the Antiquities Act has been abused in such a way that Presidents not only use the authority to designate “objects,” as was the original intent, but also to lock up millions of acres of land with the stroke of a pen.
As it stands, the Antiquities Act of 1906 grants the President the authority to designate “…historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments.” The Antiquities Act also holds that national monuments should be “…confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected…,” yet Presidents of both parties have, in our view, inappropriately designated enormous swaths of public lands as national monuments. One particularly egregious example was the designation of nearly 2 million acres of public land as the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument in Utah.
Too often when widespread local and Congressional support to designate public lands as wilderness cannot be established, wilderness proponents turn to a strategy of calling for the President to achieve similar goals by administratively designating the area as a National Monument. It is no secret that those most affected by land use decisions are those who live, recreate and make their livelihoods on or near the public lands in question. As a result it is imperative that Congress enact National Monument reform that provides for maximum public input and local involvement.
Click Take Action to send an email in support of National Monument reform!
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