The Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association praised Chairman Rob Bishop and the House Natural Resources Committee for marking-up H.R. 3990, the National Monument Creation and Protection Act. H.R. 3390 would bring long-overdue reform to the national monument designation process by setting clear parameters for the appropriate size of designations, giving voice to local residents and business owners, and requiring environmental studies before sweeping designations can be made. A markup is an initial step in the legislative process that allows a bill to move forward for further consideration.
“Previous Presidents consistently ignored original congressional intent for monument designations to be the ‘smallest area compatible’ with conservation objectives,” said Dave Eliason, president of the Public Lands Council. “Repeated abuse of executive authority under the Antiquities Act harmed local economies and communities in rural areas across the country.”
The Antiquities Act – a mere four paragraphs – has been used to lock up over 500 million acres of land and water without local input or economic analysis.
“H.R. 3390 adds critical details to original, vague legislation regarding the creation and management of national monuments,” said Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “By limiting presidential authority and restoring balance to the monument designation process, the bill would ensure local ranchers and communities are not subject to the whims of an unchecked federal government.”
Ranchers who hold grazing permits on public land do vital work that benefits public land including the improvement of water sources, conservation of wildlife habitat, and maintenance of the open space that Americans enjoy. Limitless power to make massive designations under the Antiquities Act poses a serious threat to that noble mission and rich heritage