The Antiquities Act became law in 1906. It authorized U.S. Presidents to create National Monuments by setting aside federal lands to protect “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest.” Presidents of both parties have used it to preserve 157 historic sites, archaeological treasures and scenic landscapes. Part of the Grand Canyon, before it was expanded and designated a National Park, was initially protected as a monument.
In April 2017, President Trump issued an executive order stating, “the Secretary of the Interior shall conduct a review of all Presidential designations or expansions of designations under the Antiquities Act made since January 1, 1996, where the designation covers more than 100,000 acres. Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Secretary shall provide a final report to the President.”
This order, not only threatens certain National Monuments, but also threatens the integrity of the Antiquities Act, itself, and the ability of the Executive Branch to protect important landscapes or historical sites.
Please call Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke at 202-208-7351 and tell him the American public opposes any efforts to undermine the Antiquities Act. The Dept. of Interior is taking public comments until July 10.