Take Action: Congress Fast-Tracking Bill to Undermine Antiquities Act

posted October 11, 2017
by Thomas O'Keefe

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This week, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced a bill to effectively eliminate the Antiquities Act as a core conservation tool for landscapes that include many rivers important to our community (Learn More). Over more than a century, the Antiquities Act has served as the mechanism to protect some of our country’s most iconic paddling destinations that include the Colorado River through Grand Canyon (AZ), Black Canyon of the Gunnison (CO), Brown’s Canyon of the Arkansas River (CO), San Juan River through Bears Ears National Monument (UT), Middle Fork Tule in Giant Sequoia (CA), Green and Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument (UT), and East Branch Penobscot in Katahdin Woods and Waters (ME).
The bill is being taken up by the House Natural Resources Committee today and would end the availability of the Antiquities Act as a meaningful conservation tool in the future. It would also give the President new power to undo existing protections on public lands. Among its provisions, the deceptively named “National Monument Creation and Protection Act” would:
• Place new limits on the objects that could be protected, drastically curtailing the Act’s ability to protect landscapes we value for recreation;
• Give county elected officials and others veto authority over decisions concerning national public lands;
• Lock in place potentially incompatible uses of protected areas;
• Give adjacent private property owners veto power over land management decisions on public lands; and
• Give the President new authority to undo existing protections.
This bill is consistent with a disturbing trend of anti-public lands legislation, aimed at transferring control over national public lands to small, nonpublic constituencies (Learn More).
Please take a moment today to write your Representative and share your thoughts on this legislation that would severely limit an important conservation tool we have used to protect rivers. We have provided a template to make this quick and easy.
Thomas O'Keefe
3537 NE 87th St.
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: 425-417-9012