Five Things You Should Know About the Antiquities Act

Here are five things you need to know about threats to the Antiquities Act. More details (and how you can stand up for the Act) at: http://savingplac.es/2oPmBl1
  1. 1.
    The Antiquities Act doesn’t provide the president with the authority to undo monument designations.
    The Antiquities Act is a short law—in fact, it was less than 500 words as enacted in 1906. It grants the president discretion to “declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated on land owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be national monuments” (54 U.S.C. § 320301).
  2. 2.
    That doesn’t mean opponents won’t try.
    Photo credit: Donald J. Rommes
  3. 3.
    New monuments involve substantial local input in management planning.
    Designation as a national monument does not entail a standard set of rules or restrictions. Each monument proclamation is unique, and every monument goes through its own management planning process with opportunities for public input. Photo credit: Mark Sandlin
  4. 4.
    National Monuments are popular.
    Colorado College’s 2017 Conservation in the West poll found that 80 percent of Western voters support existing monument designations. Only 13 percent of respondents wanted to see designations removed. With national park visitation surging, monuments offer additional opportunities for visitors to explore public lands—as well as new opportunities to grow and diversify economies in nearby communities. Photo credit: NPCA
  5. 5.
    Congress needs to hear from you.
    Don’t underestimate the value of engaging your elected officials in Congress. Constituent input helps shape the views of representatives, senators, and their staffs as they consider various bills that would weaken the Antiquities Act—for example, S. 33, S. 22/H.R. 243, and H.R. 2074.