In October of 2017 Rep. Rob Bishop [R-UT-1] introduced the National Monument Creation and Protection Act (H.R. 3990). This bill directly threatens our public lands by undermining the Antiquities Act. Not only would monuments be limited to 85,000 acres, but any designation over 10,000 acres would require county and state approval. In addition, it would allow the President the ability to reduce or revoke national monuments, something that the Department of Interior has been advocating for the past six months.
Since its enactment over a hundred years ago, the Antiquities Act has been one of our nation’s most critical conservation tools for preserving our nation’s most important public lands and waters. Both Republican and Democratic Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D Eisenhower, John Kennedy and George W. Bush have used the Antiquities Act since 1906 to designate 157 special places including national treasures like the Grand Canyon, Devils Tower and Olympic National Park. Our national parks and monuments and other protected public lands and waters unite all Americans by protecting our shared American heritage for future generations to enjoy.
Not only do America’s national monuments preserve our nation’s history, our culture & our natural wonders, they help grow and sustain local communities and economies – especially for rural and Western communities that benefit from the tourism, outdoor recreation and quality of life associated with healthy public lands. Outdoor recreation alone generates $887 billion and 7.6 million jobs every year. And in 2016, National Parks saw a record 331 million visits, contributing almost $35 billion to the U.S. economy. Regions surrounding national monuments have seen continued growth or improvement in employment and personal income, and rural counties in the West with more federal lands had healthier economies, on average, than their peers with less protected lands.
The National Monument Creation and Protection Act is a blatant attack on the Antiquities Act, putting the protection and enjoyment of our public lands at risk. It limits the size of national monument designation, creates unnecessary red tape to presidential designation, and allows shrinking or revoking of national monuments.
Ask your elected officials to protect our public lands, local economies, and our national heritage by standing up for the Antiquities Act and voting NO on H.R. 3990.
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