ASI, PLC Applaud Antiquities Act Executive Order
April 28, 2017
The American Sheep Industry Association and the Public Lands Council applaud the executive order signed on Wednesday, April 26, that calls for a review of designations made under the Antiquities Act by previous presidents.
Dave Eliason, PLC president, said while the act was intended to preserve Native American artifacts and areas of historical importance, presidents have instead used the act to bypass Congress and local communities to place heavy restrictions on massive swaths of land. Most recently, President Obama boasted of using the Antiquities Act more than any previous president – locking up 256 million acres of land and water in 30 separate designations.
“Western communities have been calling on Congress for years to address the continued abuse of the Antiquities Act. Elevating millions of acres to monument status without local input or economic analysis results in unrecoverable losses to the local communities.”
The livestock industry, which supports many of the western communities, stands ready to work with the administration and assist in their review of designations. A bill introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) would require congressional approval for any new designations, thus taking such power away from future administrations.